In fiddle classes at the Old Town School, we seldom get around to teaching tunes in the key of C. That’s a shame. There are so many good ones. Larry Warren, a gentleman I met on FIDDLE-L, posted a private page of sound clips of C tunes contributed from fellow FIDDLE-L subscribers. Here’s my contribution of a few gems (IMHO) that I don’t think made it to Larry’s page.
I learned this nearly 30 years ago from Hector Phillips, of Petersburg, Indiana. I made this recording ten years ago for a FIDDLE-L compilation CD. Rhys Jones is on guitar. Hector Phillips can be seen and heard in “Tough, Pretty, or Smart: A Portrait of the Patoka Valley Boys,” a film by Dillon Bustin and Richard Kane.
Even longer ago, I learned this one from Paul Gifford, who was then living in Ferndale, Michigan. He learned it from Merritt Olsen, from the nearby Detroit suburb of Birmingham. I heard Merritt play once–he also played a button box accordion–and greatly regret that I never went to visit him. Of course, at that time I could barely scratch out an identifiable tune.
And this one I learned in 1979 from Donald Duff of Lizton, Indiana. He learned it from Mr. Harmon, an older local fiddler who helped Mr. Duff get started when he was a kid. Jimmie Campbell of Dolan, Indiana played the tune as well, and called it “Old Bob.” Same name, different tune from one Garry Harrison collected.
Just so the record is straight, I am the fiddler on all these recordings. Any clunkers are mine and mine alone. Enjoy the tunes, and maybe we can play one of two of them at the upcoming open session of the Fiddle Club on July 15.
Paul Tyler, convener