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HOLLOW POPLAR. AKA - "Hollow Poplar Log." AKA and see "Old Hollow Poplar." Old-Time, Bluegrass; Breakdown. USA, Nebraska, Missouri, Tenn. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. Popularized by Tennessee's Fiddlin' Arthur Smith. Earnest Smith, the grandson of the famous Tennessee fiddler, told Susan Songer (1997) that this tune was his father's favorite and that it was the first tune he played on the Grand Old Opry (WSM radio). Although Smith had played the tune since the 1930's, he never recorded it until he made his 'comeback' with the McGee Brothers in the late 1950's. It may have been picked up by Midwest fiddlers from Smith's radio broadcasts, or may have been independently in circulation in the region. Related tunes are "Forks of the Sandy" or "Three Forks Sandy (1)," especially the fine strain. Drew Beisswenger (2008) points to similarities of the 'B' part of "Hollow Poplar" and the 'A' part of the "Green Corn" family of tunes. In the repertoire of the Perry County Music Makers (Tenn.), Nannie Presson and Bulow Smith on zither and guitar.
Sources for notated versions: Kenny Baker (Brody); Bob Walters (Burt County, Nebraska) [Christeson]; Liz Slade (Yorktown, New York) [Kuntz]; Marion Summer [Phillips]; mandolin player Rodney Freeland (Berkeley, California) [Songer]; Cliff Bryan (b. 1927, Pomona, south-central Missouri) [Beisswenger & McCann].
Printed sources: Beisswenger & McCann (Ozark Fiddle Music), 2008; p. 173. Brody (Fiddler's Fakebook), 1983; p. 136-137. R.P. Christeson (Old Time Fiddlers Repertory, vol. 1), 1973; p. 86. Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes), vol. 1, 1994; p. 114. Songer (Portland Collection), 1997; p. 98.
Recorded sources: County 744, Kenny Baker- "Dry and Dusty." Folkways FA-2379, Arthur Smith - "Mountain Songs and Instrumentals" (1964). June Appal 030, Marion Sumner- "Road To Home" (learned from Fiddlin' Arthur Smith). OHCS-90174, Marion Sumner (1986). Voyager VRCD 357, Billy Lee - "Up Jumped the Devil." Whoop it Up! 101, Red Mountain White Trash - "Fire in the Dumpster" (1995).
See also listing at:
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources