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Feb 15, 2024 - 8:39:53 PM
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carlb

USA

2585 posts since 12/16/2007

  Back in the early 1970s, County Records released a three record set entitled "Echoes of the Ozarks" On Volume III <https://www.discogs.com/release/5408109-Various-Echoes-Of-The-Ozarks-Volume-III> were both sides of the 1926 recordings of Sam Long playing "Seneca Square Dance" and "Echoes of the Ozarks", both in the key of G (notation, for both tunes, in Ira Ford's "Traditional Music of America", Da Capo Press, NY, 1978, pp. 122-123), but under the name "Echoes from the Ozarks". Little did I know at that time, as I had purchased the first edition of R.P. Christeson's "The Old Time Fiddler's Repertory" when it first came out, that in it was a notation for the tune in the key of D <https://tunearch.org/wiki/Echoes_from_the_Ozarks_(1)> as collected from Bill Driver. I guess that I didn't pay attention to that version as I had already learned it in G and mainly played it on the fiddle. Many years later (probably in the 1990s), I found that playing it on the banjo was much better, at least for me, in double D (aDAde) and recorded it on my home-produced CD "Banjo Stuff" in 2000.

 

From <https://www.last.fm/music/Fiddling+Sam+Long/+wiki>

Fiddlin' Sam Long (born October 22, 1876 in Scranton, Kansas, as Samuel William Long, † 6 May 1931 in Kansas) was an American fiddler.

 

  Long was born in 1876 in Kansas. His father, William B. Long, whose ancestors came from Pennsylvania, was himself a fiddler, however, forbade his son to play the fiddle. With the help of his mother Long still secretly practiced and mastered the instrument soon. The family moved to Burns, Kansas, near Wichita, when Long was nine years old. In the 1890s Long lived as a young man in California, where he appeared already on several occasions as a fiddler.

  Then he lived in Jasper County, Missouri, where he worked in the mines. Because of the unhealthy working in the mines, he quickly got lung problems and worked briefly as a farmer, but returned shortly thereafter back to the mines. 1904 Long married Bertha Eudora Rickman, with whom he lived for eight years in Jasper County and had four children. 1912, after his attempt had failed as a farmer, Long and his family moved to Commerce, Oklahoma, where he earned his money as a miner.

  Long repaired incidentally instruments and organized square dances. In these dances, he was accompanied either by a pianist or a guitarist and also showed his talent as a dancer. In 1926 Long participated in a large-scale Fiddle Contest in Joplin, Missouri. Long won the competition and was awarded the first prize the possibility, traveling to New Castle, Pennsylvania, in order to make recordings for Gennett Records.

  In New Castle Long held in January or February 1926 his first recording session, which produced two singles. Long was the first Old-time musician from the Ozarks, immortalized on record. With his version of the Seneca Square Dance, he inspired a lot of fiddlers. The recordings where at the Gennett Record Company in Richmond, Indiana. Long was in the studio accompanied by a guitarist named Ray Kastner, who appears in the records as "Roy Kastner."

 

Gennett Records

1926 Listen to the Mockingbird / Sandyland 3255

1926 Seneca Square Dance / Echoes of the Ozarks 3284

 

  Longs records were released under the name "Fiddlin 'Sam Long of the Ozarks" and struck a chord in many parts of the country. Especially in his home state but also in the entire Midwest, his recordings sold very well. No second session for Gennett was organized so that a total of six titles were Longs single shots. In 1928 he won a second time the Joplin Fiddle Contest and beat 76 other musicians. Because of his lung problems, he had to give up his work in the mines and was forced to take trips in milder areas like Texas or Arizona. He later settled with an uncle in Kansas, where he died in 1931 at the age of 54 years.

 

  In the description of the tune <http://www.ibiblio.org/fiddlers/EA_EG.htm>, they talk about similarities to the 1871 song "Little Old Log Cabin in the Lane" <https://www.loc.gov/item/2023828052/>. I, personally, do see the similarity when I check the notation of both. Some say that "Echoes of/from the Ozarks" is similar to "Yellow Rose of Texas" but I did not see that similarity when I did a similar check as above.

 

The recordings:

Sam Long in G

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g81bew8V-3s

Bill Driver in D

https://www.slippery-hill.com/content/echoes-ozarks

 

My mp3 is a sequential recording, three times each of my 2000 one followed by my 2023 one, in a single file.


Feb 16, 2024 - 11:21:48 AM
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113 posts since 8/1/2012

This tune rang a bell, and when I searched my music library, I found it. A week ago I had purchased the very excellent Brad Leftwich/Humdingers new album, "Rise and Bloom", and that medley of Ozark-Seneca is one of the tunes on it. bradleftwich.bandcamp.com/albu...oom-again
When I listened to it, I immediately thought of "Little Old Sod Shanty on the Claim", which we sang in grammar school. I looked it up and saw that when it was written, it was suggested to be sung to "Little Old Log Cabin in the Lane."
It's not exact, but similar enough, you just have to figure Log Cabin was a big influence. It was written in 1871 for the minstrel trade.
I think it sounds great on your banjo, and I can see that the D tuning serves it very well.

Feb 16, 2024 - 12:33:16 PM

RG

USA

3263 posts since 8/7/2008

Such a great tune Carl, a longtime favorite...

Feb 17, 2024 - 4:19:56 PM
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7116 posts since 6/27/2009

Good choice, Carl, and nice rhythm and feel on your recording, especially that 2000 one. You make it sound like it was easy for you!  I used the Sam Long recording and found it crooked and syncopated, really needing my tab to play along.  Open G tuning worked for me.  I could easily hear Little Old Log Cabin in the Lane.  There's a good Sam Long article in my resource book with notation, Ozarks Fiddle Music by Drew Beisswenger and Gordon McCann.  It's always a kick to hear about those fiddlers who were forbidden as children to touch their fathers' fiddles, but do it anyway and become very successful at playing.


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