Little Rabbit

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LITTLE RABBIT. AKA and see "Rabbit Where's Your Mammy? (1)," "Pretty Little Gal (1)," "Pretty Little Miss (1)," "Brown's Dream (1)," "Herve Brown's Dream," "John Brown's Dream," "Walk Along John to Kansas." Old-Time, Breakdown. USA; Oklahoma, Arizona. D Major (Johnson, Kuntz): A Major (Brody, Kaufman, Phillips, Welling). Standard or ADae, AEae, or C#Aea tunings (fiddle). AB (Silberberg): AABB'CC' (Kaufman): AABBCCDD (Kuntz, Welling): AABBCCDDEE (Brody, Johnson): AABBCCDDEE' (Phillips). The melody is related to "Boatman." Most modern versions are based on the Crockett Mountaineers recording of "Little Rabbit," which is actually a pastiche of two or more tunes, including "Little Rabbit" (similar to versions of the "John Brown's Dream" tune family) {'A', 'B' and 'C' parts}and "Rabbit Where's Your Mammy? (1)" {'D' and 'E' parts}. This combination is oft-repeated in modern times-so much so that the 5-part piece is sometimes thought of as only one tune ("Little Rabbit"). Several parts belong to a family of tunes that includes "Brownstream," "Herve Brown's Dream," "Jimmy Johnson Pass that Jug Around the Hill," "John Brown's Dream," "Pretty Little Girl," "Stillhouse Branch" "Table Mountain Road" and others. The tune family is a common a popular one in the Blue Ridge Mountains, where it probably originated, but the tune has since been widely disseminated. This ditty is frequently sung to the last part of the piece:

Little Rabbit where's your mammy?
Little Rabbit where's your mammy?
I want to see your mammy,
Tell me rabbit where's your mammy?

Crockett's Kentucky Mountaineers

California mandolin and fiddler player Kenny Hall recalled that Crockett's Kentucky Mountaineers members moved to Hollywood from Kentucky in the 1920's to further their careers. Hall, who has lived in Fresno since the 1950's, met the elderly fiddler John Harvey "Dad" Crockett who was then in retirement and was told that the Crockett family band (which included George on fiddle; Johnny on banjo; guitar and vocals; Alan on fiddle and bones; Clarence on guitar; Albert on tenor guitar; Elnora, vocals) had played "Little Rabbit Where's Your Mammy" for a Bugs Bunny cartoon sometime in the 1930's (from an interview with Kenny Hall by Gus Garelick). Dad Crocket was originally from West Virginia, but moved to Bath, Kentucky, as a young man. When the group recorded "Little Rabbit" they were living in California, but the recording itself was made in New York City for Crown Records.

The melody was in the repertoire of Arizona fiddler Kenner C. Kartchner in the key of 'A'.

Source for notated version: Tom McCreesh [Kuntz]; W.S. Collins (Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma) [Thede]; Crockett's Kentucky Mountaineers [Kaufman].

Printed sources: Brody (Fiddler's Fakebook), 1983; p. 171. Johnson (The Kitchen Musician No. 2: Occasional Collection of Old-Timey Fiddle Tunes for Hammer Dulcimer, Fiddle, etc.), 1982 (revised 1988, 2003); p. 7. Kaufman (Beginning Old Time Fiddle), 1977; p. 62. Kuntz (Ragged but Right), 1987; p. 353-354. Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes, vol. 1), 1994; p. 144. Silberberg (Tunes I Learned at Tractor Tavern), 2002; p. 91. Thede (The Fiddle Book), 1967; p. 139 (appears as "Rabbit Where's Your Mammy?"). Welling (Welling's Hartford Tune Book), 1976; p. 3.

Recorded sources: County 501, Crockett Mountaineers- "Mountain Fiddle Music." Crown 3172 (78 RPM), Crockett's Kentucky Mountaineers (1931). Elektra 217, Tom Paley- "Folk Banjo Styles." Folkways FTS 31038, Roger Sprung and Hal Wylie- "Bluegrass Blast." Front Hall 017, Walt Michael and Tom McCreesh- "Dance Like a Wave of the Sea" (1978). Rounder 0040, "Pickin' Around the Cookstove" (appears as "Rabbit Where's Your Mammy"). Rounder 0075, Richard Greene- "Duets." Smithsonian Folkways SFW40136-104, Mike Seegar - "True Vine" (2003). Vetco LP104, "The Wonderful World of Old Time Fiddlers." Voyager 340, Jim Herd - "Old Time Ozark Fiddling." Yazoo 2045, Crockett Mountaineers - "The Cornshucker's Frolic: Downhome Music and Entertainment from the American Countryside" (reissue).

See also listing at:
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [1]
Hear Crockett's Kentucky Mountaineer's excellent recording at Slippery Hill [2]




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