Back to Belcher's Reel
BELCHER'S REEL. AKA and see "Wake Up Susan (1)." Old-Time, Reel. USA, Catskill Region, New York. A Major. AEae tuning (fiddle). AB. Alva Belcher (1819-1900) was a black fiddler and storekeeper from Delhi, New York, who had a regional reputation in the nineteenth century. The tune named for him consists of a first strain borrowed from the Scottish reel "Mason's Apron" (also the American "Wake Up Susan (1)") grafted onto a second "floating" strain, was a common dance tune in the Greene County, N.Y., area in the early 20th century. Bronner (1987) says: "At a time when local musicians rarely gained wide renown, Belcher was a name called for in villages from the Catskills well into central New York. Belcher formed a string band that included white players, and his style incorporated the Anglo-Celtic influence on the area. Indeed...Belcher's tunes and phrasings passed into the oral tradition beyond the county's borders" (p. 16).
Source for notated version: Wordell Martin (Greene County, New York, 1948) [Bronner].
Printed sources: Bronner (Old-Time Music Makers of New York State), 1987; No. 2, p. 17.