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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: TOTW (OT) 25 September 2015: Candy Girl

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:

sugarinthegourd - Posted - 09/25/2015:  08:50:10

This week's tune is "Candy Girl," from the great Tennessee fiddler John L. "Uncle Bunt" Stephens.

Here is audio of the master playing it: 

Here is a video of Bruce Molsky teaching it on fiddle. He really gets that great Uncle Bunt rhythm in his bowing.

Here is some music notation of the tune (the Milliner-Koken book has notation with a bit more of the rhythmic complexity). Here is a banjo tab from Ken Torke aka Tater Joe based on the playing of Mark Olitsky.

Here is a video of Mark himself playing the tune: 

Here is a nice video of Hunter Robinson playing "Candy Girl," from his instructional DVD:

This tune can be a great platform for a "trance jam" and who does that better than the Horse Flies? Here's a CD I never even knew existed where they do a funky "Candy Girl"...the recognizable melody doesn't even start until about 2 minutes in. Here is the album on Spotify.

This is one of those "takes a minute to learn, takes a lifetime to master" tunes. Would love to hear what others come up with. I will try to record and post a video of myself playing it over the next few days. 



Edited by - sugarinthegourd on 09/25/2015 09:53:17

sugarinthegourd - Posted - 09/25/2015:  09:44:34

The above was originally intended to be a much longer and more thoughtful post, but I submitted it & something went wrong and it didn't post. I was unable to retrieve the lost post. If I have the time later I will try to add back some of my thoughts about this wonderful tune. 

richmberman - Posted - 09/25/2015:  09:53:47

A great tune. One of my very favorites. Thanks for bringing it to TOTW.

Viper - Posted - 09/25/2015:  11:05:24

Love this tune. I also learned it from Mark Olitsky's playing, but from this video.

Cyndy - Posted - 09/25/2015:  11:14:28

If we're going to talk about Candy Girl, we've got to mention Dan Gellert!

My favorite recording can be found on this page, but here's a video, too.

I'm trying to think. Is there a recording out there of him playing it on banjo?

Edited by - Cyndy on 09/25/2015 11:15:15

JanetB - Posted - 09/25/2015:  13:24:21

John, your choice is a fun one to play, and I agree, it will take a lifetime to master like the masters portrayed above.  It's impressive that Uncle Bunt Stephens won the famous 1926 fiddle contest sponsored by Henry Ford to help sell his automobile. 

Candy Girl

Candy Girl (CH tab)

RG - Posted - 09/25/2015:  17:21:39

One of my top 10 favorite fiddle tunes, great choice John!

sugarinthegourd - Posted - 09/26/2015:  11:13:15

Of note, there are some interesting variations on the Uncle Bunt recording. Though it's mostly ABB he only plays the B once the first time and then adds variations -- it ends up something like this:




BB (low)


BB (high with a rhythmic variant)



a 3rd B (low with rhythmic variant) then weird taggy thing (not quite 4 beats?)


BB (high)


BB (low)


BB (high)




Weird, huh?

sugarinthegourd - Posted - 09/26/2015:  11:17:01

Here's a notation for the first few times through that I did in a great online transcription program called Noteflight. 

Try it out, and click the play button at lower left to listen!


Edited by - sugarinthegourd on 09/26/2015 11:18:28

sugarinthegourd - Posted - 09/26/2015:  12:07:50

OK, I put together a basic banjo tab (haven't checked to see how close/different it is to others out there). A pdf is attached here, and the tabledit .tef file is posted on my website here

Candy Girl


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