Square Dance History Project
The rich story of North American square dance finally has a home in the digital age.

Browse Items (178 total)

  • Subject is exactly "Transitional/Western 1950s"
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Jim Mayo 1 - Early Years of Modern Square Dance

Jim discusses his own introduction to modern squares with caller Al Brundage in 1949. He talks about the early development of modern, showing how this new activity began to separate from its… View item
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Chase the Rabbit - Ed Gilmore

Ed Gilmore, caller. Gilmore was from California, but demonstrates here his familiarity with traditional Southern Appalachian style patter. View item
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Lady Be Good - Ed Gilmore

Ed Gilmore, caller, taking the song by George and Ira Gershwin and turning it into a singing square. View item
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Auctioneer (1958 original - clip) - Marshall Flippo

This is an audio clip of the first of three recordings Marshall Flippo made of this tune; this is the recording that launched his career as a square dance caller. Transcription provided by Jeff… View item
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Pigtails and Ribbons - Bob Dalsemer

Bob Dalsemer calls (and plays accordion) on this singing square, which he learned from callers Otto Wood and Donald Davis, at the John C. Campbell Folk School. Otto's source was probably a… View item
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Wrong Way Thar - Bob Dalsemer

Bob Dalsemer calls this figure, which he adapted from Milly Riley's self-published book Western Square Dancing based on Dorothy Shaw's syllabi of the Lloyd Shaw Dance Fellowship, 1955-1970. The… View item
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Down Yonder - Bob Dalsemer

Bob Dalsemer calls the well-known singing square dance Down Yonder at the Dare To Be Square weekend held November 18-20, 2011, at the John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC. Bob credits the Handy… View item
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Arkansas Traveler with a Cross Trail Thru - Bob Dalsemer

Bob Dalsemer calls at the Dare To Be Square weekend held November 18-20, 2011, at the John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC. This version of Arkansas Traveler, with the cross trail figure, comes… View item
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Missing Link, The - Larry Edelman

Larry Edelman, caller, cites this dance by Frank Tyrell as one of his favorites, marking the transitional moment between traditional and modern square dancing. It combines figures from the… View item
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Square Dance - Steamboat Springs, 1951

This silent movie shows children dancing at the second annual Square Dance Festival held in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The film was taken by Leonard Fisher, whose daughter was one of the dancers;… View item
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Ends Turn In - Susan Kevra

Dance composed in 1952 by Ed Gilmore, a well-known square dance leader of the 1950s; Susan Kevra, caller; Becky Tracy, fiddle, and Keith Murphy, piano; recorded at Pinewoods Camp, Plymouth, MA, Family… View item