Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

284
Banjo Lovers Online


Nov 30, 2023 - 5:42:18 PM
like this
Players Union Member

carlb

USA

2574 posts since 12/16/2007

Lafayette

From fiddling of Kirk McGee

 

https://www.slippery-hill.com/content/lafayette

From “Milk ‘em in the Evening Blues”, Folkways, FT 1007 (mono); FTS 31007 (stereo), 1968

Lafayette, though it refers to the French general, is identified by Kirk as "an old Civil War tune." That's the only history I could find about this D tune.

 

I thought that I’d do this as a project of how different banjo players create their own settings of the tune. On the above recording, Authur Smith accompanies Kirk by, what sounds like, finger picking chords.

 

I have quite a few really good banjo player friends who have contributed their solo version for this Tune of the Week. Some may be a little late with their contributions, but I shall add them as I get them. The solo banjo settings are from:

Carl Baron (recorded in 2000 and is from my CD "Banjo Stuff")

Doug Linton (from SE PA)

Steve Austin (from Maine)

Paul Sidlick (from SE PA)

 

Back in 1975, I met Dick Kimmel at the 2nd Brandywine Friends of Old Music Festival at the Newlin Grist Mill Park, close to Concordville, PA. He was, at that time, the clawhammer editor of the Banjo NewsLetter. He invited me to write a tab. Lafayette became the first tab I ever wrote and it was published in the December 1975 issue. Also, here is one from Steve Austin.

 

https://tunearch.org/wiki/Annotation:Lafayette

LAFAYETTE. American, Reel. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. The melody was popularised on the Grand Ole Opry by fiddler Kirk McGee (1899-1983, Williamson County, Tennessee). Jon Pankake (who wrote the liner notes for Folkways FW3 1007) interviewed McGee in 1965, and was told that "Lafayette" was "an old Civil War tune," although McGee did not mention a source for his version. McGee recorded the tune playing the fiddle, backed by Fiddlin' Arthur Smith on 5-string banjo, and it was popular for many years as a dance tune on the Grand Old Opry.

Printed sources: Silberberg (Tunes I Learned at Tractor Tavern), 2002; p. 81; Clare Milliner and Walt Koken (The Milliner-Koken Collection of American Fiddle Tunes), 2011; p, 369 [added by me].

Recorded sources: Folkways FW3 1007, Kirk McGee (fiddle) & Arthur Smith (banjo) - "Milk 'em in the Evening Blues" (1968). Whipporwill 1001, Jim Wood & John Hartford - "The Bullies Have all Gone to Rest" (1998. Learned by John Hartford from the playing of Opry fiddler Earl White, who had it from Kirk McGee).

 

I could not figure out how to hear the interview mentioned below. Yesterday I sent an email to the Country Music Hall of Fame and am waiting a reply.

https://www.countrymusichalloffame.org/about/collections/oral-history/kirk-mcgee

Kirk McGee

December 18, 1973 OH115 65 min.

Biography

Country performer. Born November 4, 1899. Died October 24, 1983. Career active 1920s-early 1970s. With his brother Sam (born May 1, 1894; died August 21, 1975) formed the McGee Brothers. Longtime Grand Ole Opry stars, they backed Uncle Dave Macon on stage and in the recording studio. In the 1930s they teamed with Fiddlin’ Arthur Smith to form to Dixieliners.

Interview Summary

1973 December 18

(1 hour, 5 minutes)

Country performer Kirk McGee recalls his career as part of the McGee Brothers. Discussion includes his childhood; working with Uncle Dave Macon; memories of the early Grand Ole Opry; working with Fiddlin’ Arthur Smith & the Dixieliners; experiences performing with his brother, Sam and comments on Sam’s career; memories of performers from the early years of country music, including Roy Acuff; and an overview of his career.


Edited by - carlb on 12/01/2023 12:30:21

Nov 30, 2023 - 7:35:48 PM
like this

264 posts since 4/10/2010

Thanks Carl for demonstrating that there's no one "right way" to play a tune.

Dec 1, 2023 - 8:00:02 AM

Jimmy Sutton

England

304 posts since 9/30/2013
Online Now

Carl,

I believe you will find that it is Kirk McGee on the banjo and ARTHUR (not Author) Smith playing fiddle.

Dec 1, 2023 - 8:09:10 AM

Jimmy Sutton

England

304 posts since 9/30/2013
Online Now

Carl,

Apologies I should have said Sam McGee on banjo. His brother Kirk played guitar and fiddle.

Dec 1, 2023 - 8:19:27 AM

171 posts since 9/5/2013

Nice tune, Carl.
That old page from BNL makes me nostalgic.

Dec 1, 2023 - 12:28:29 PM
likes this
Players Union Member

carlb

USA

2574 posts since 12/16/2007

quote:
Originally posted by Jimmy Sutton

Carl,

Apologies I should have said Sam McGee on banjo. His brother Kirk played guitar and fiddle.


From the back of the record,  side 2.

"Band 5 - Lafayette - Kirk McGee, fiddle; Arthur Smith, 5-string banjo"

Dec 1, 2023 - 2:14:32 PM

Jimmy Sutton

England

304 posts since 9/30/2013
Online Now

Carl,

OK, apologies I'll take your word for it. That is one album I don't have on my shelves. I was unaware that this Arthur Smith played banjo.

Dec 1, 2023 - 4:10:54 PM
like this

7100 posts since 6/27/2009

Good choice, Carl, and I like the personal history you've shared.  Your first tab!  

I liked the tuning (gCGCE) used in the Steve Austin tablature, but went with the double C as you did, Carl.  For fun I made both tablatures.


Dec 1, 2023 - 4:13:45 PM
likes this

RG

USA

3251 posts since 8/7/2008

This is such a great tune Carl, Kirk McGee was such an amazing fiddler... and Arthur Smith an amazing fiddler was no slouch on the banjo. Great stuff!

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Privacy Consent
Copyright 2024 Banjo Hangout. All Rights Reserved.





Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories

0.25