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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: TOTW 6/4/2010 Bear Creek Sally Goodin'

Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link:

RG - Posted - 06/04/2010:  12:23:07

Here is a nice breakdown from the late Missouri fiddler Bob Holt. First heard this on Rounder's "Traditional Fiddle Music of the Ozarks, Volume 1" and wanted to learn it since I really like all versions and variants of this tune. Was able to fill in some of the blanks when Hugh Strawn featured this tune in one of his "Old Time From the Ozarks" columns in the BNL. Fiddler's companion says this about it:

BEAR CREEK SALLY GOODIN'. AKA – “Walls of Jericho [2].” Old Time, Breakdown. USA, Ozark region. A Major. AEac# tuning. AA’BB’. This melody may be an amalgam of several tunes, and even the title may represent a collision in tradition. As the title suggests there is a resemblance to "Sally Goodin'" or "Old Sally Goodin." A melody called "Bear Creek" or "Bear Creek's Up" is found in areas of the South and Southwest (Bear Creek place-names are relatively widespread). This traditional Ozark Mountain region fiddle tune was recorded by folklorist/musicologist Vance Randolph in the early 1940's for the Library of Congress. Ozark fiddler Bob Holt’s father used to play this tune under the title “Walls of Jericho,” although that name is usually attached to a different tune, although both melodies feature plucked strings (it may be that the titles were simply confused by the elder Holt). Hildred Smith, writing in a 1929 issue of Ozark Life mentioned that “Bear Creek Sally Goodin’” was a famous Ozark dance tune (Randolph, Ozark Folksongs, pg. 350). Beisswenger & McCann identify “Old Charlie Deckard,” “White River” and “Broken-Legged Chicken” as similar tunes. Source for notated version: Bob Holt (1930-2004, Ava, Missouri) [Beisswenger & McCann]. Beisswenger & McCann (Ozark Fiddle Music), 2008; pg. 60. Rounder CD –0435, Bob Holt – “Traditional Fiddle Music of the Ozarks, vol. 1 (1999. Various artists).
See also listing at:
Jane Keefer’s Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources

Some other information on the tune is here...

Here is my version trying to keep up with the speed that Bob played it at (and struggling I might add)...

Bob's version can be found here...

And here is a great resource for this and other Ozark/Missouri tunes, Hugh Strawn's site with sound files and tab (from his BNL column)...

Hope you like this one, have a great weekend & take care!

Edited by - RG on 06/07/2010 02:02:05

R.D. Lunceford - Posted - 06/04/2010:  14:16:21

All right, RG...... a Missouri Tune!

There's also a tune called "Black Sally Goodin' " collected by R.P. Christeson from
the 1928 Missouri State Champion fiddler Vee Latty who was from Fulton, Callaway County
up in "Little Dixie". He got the tune from local Black fiddler Bill Caton

RG - Posted - 06/05/2010:  10:17:33

Hey R.D. - You have to love those Missouri fiddle tunes, great stuff...I know you played with Bob, that must have been a blast, he could really saw on that fiddle!

I have never heard "Black Sally Goodin'", is there a recording of it by anyone? Would love to hear it...

Edited by - RG on 06/05/2010 16:18:51

LyleK - Posted - 06/06/2010:  06:52:11

Nice tune, and a propitious time to have a Missouri fiddle tune as the TOTW. With the re-release of Christeson's two volume set (mentioned by RD) and the recent printing of Beisswenger and McCann's "Ozarks Fiddle Music" (not to mention "Dear Old Illinois") Midwest fiddle tunes are cutting a wide swath. I can't play Black Sally Goodin up to speed, but I put a tab (tabledit and *.pdf) of it in the gDGBD section of for anyone who wants to take a stab at the tab. And speaking of Beisswenger and McCann, the fidding of Bob Holt is prominent in their book. They include Holt's Bear Creek Sally Goodin' as well as Red Hills Polka (a previous TOTW).

RG - Posted - 06/06/2010:  13:16:52

Lyle-thank you for the great info and posting that tab to "Black Sally Goodin'", your page is an incredible resource for us CH players, thanks again for all of your hard work putting that together!!

R.D. & Lyle-has anyone ever released any of Christeson's field recordings?

Edited by - RG on 06/06/2010 13:21:48

mojo_monk - Posted - 06/06/2010:  19:06:00

Originally posted by RG

Lyle-thank you for the great info and posting that tab to "Black Sally Goodin'", your page is an incredible resource for us CH players, thanks again for all of your hard work putting that together!!

R.D. & Lyle-has anyone ever released any of Christeson's field recordings?

A 2 LP set was released in 1976 w/41 tracks - all but 5 of which are represented in the printed volumes. Each track features an intro by Mr. Christeson himself. With the recent re-release of of the OTFR printed volumes it seems likely that the LP's will be released in digital format relatively soon as well.

Other recordings made of/by Mr. Christeson are featured on the also recently re-released Now That's a Good Tune ( which is another "must have" collection of Missouri fiddling. Now if they would only re-release I'm Old But I'm Awfully Tough for everybody out there to enjoy!!!

Nice TOTW, RG. As an "Illinoisan in exile" (who now resides in MO) it warms my heart when I see/hear others spreading Midwestern OT music. For years this music wasn't considered old-timey enough because it didn't come from the mountains (specifically the Appalachians) and was kind of brushed off by the larger OT community as "too European". I'm glad people are (slowly) coming around!

- Sean

Edited by - mojo_monk on 06/06/2010 19:06:55

RG - Posted - 06/06/2010:  21:56:24

Sean-thanks for the information & link, good stuff indeed!

As you said, lot's of great mid-west OT stuff out there in Missouri & Illinios, the last TOTW that I did on the first of the year was Illinios fiddler Mel Durham's "Alonzo Janes"...I enjoy playing his tunes on fiddle & banjo, a nice break from the "standard" OT canon...

Thanks again!

R.D. Lunceford - Posted - 06/06/2010:  23:14:14


Are you familiar with Mel Durham's "Over the Mountain"?
I think it sometimes gets called Alonzo Janes as he was the source.
There is another melody he calls Alonzo Janes.

"Over the Mountain" is is on my Cotton Blossom CD.

"I'm Old But I'm Awfully Tough" is a great album. I only borrowed a copy once.
It had a couple of cuts by fiddle and clawhammer duet Frank Reed and Alva Lee Hendren.
They were from around Moberly, Missouri up in "Little Dixie". Their cuts were real reminiscent
of Appalachian fiddle/banjo stuff. Jake Hockmeyer's great version of "Dance Around Molly"
was also on the record.

RG - Posted - 06/07/2010:  01:57:06

R.D. - yes, I play "Over the Mountain" in cross "A" or standard tuning on the fiddle, another one of my favorite Mel tunes. I have a sound file of the tune that I know as "Alonzo Janes" on my homepage, had only played fiddle for 10 months when I recorded it in January 2010, probably should re-post it as my intonation has improved a little since then....

You got me going on my Missouri/Ozark/Illinois journey with your CD's and the stories contained in the tab books, as I have said before in earlier posts, both your CD's really changed the way I approached playing OT banjo, they are awesome resources for anyone who really wants to play this music.

I learned Mel's tunes from David Bragger, an awesome multi-instrumentalist who learned them from Mel before he passed. I recently worked on Chris Berry's Tubaphone, he is the one who accompanied Mel on "Alonzo Janes" on Mel's CD...all great stuff! I'm on a journey to find "I'm Old But I'm Awfully Tough" now, you and Sean have really piqued my interest...

Edited by - RG on 06/07/2010 02:01:39

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