Bill Cheatham

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Old-Time, Breakdown. USA, Widely known. A Major. Standard. AABB: AA'BB' (Kaufman). Krassen and others note this is a common fiddle tune throughout the Southern part of the United States, Where it probably originated (Christeson says he did not hear the tune in Missouri until the mid-1940's). The tune was a fiddle contest "category" tune in 1899 in Gallatin, Tenn.—each fiddler would play a version, with the best rendition being awarded a prize (C. Wolfe, The Devil's Box, Vol. 14, No. 4, 12/1/80).

Source for notated version: Floyd Smith (Cole County, Missouri) [Christeson], Max Collins (Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma) [Thede]. Krassen credits the Texas based Red Headed Fiddlers and Henry Reed (Va.) for the version he gives in his book: A.L. Steeley & the Red Headed Fiddlers [Kaufman].

Printed sources: Brody (Fiddler's Fakebook), 1983; pg. 41. R.P. Christeson (Old Time Fiddler's Repertory, vol. 1), 1973; No. 34, Pg. 24. Kaufman (Beginning Old Time Fiddle), 1977; pg. 61. Krassen (Appalachian Fiddle), 1973; pg. 68. Lowinger (Bluegrass Fiddle), 1974; pg. 16. Phillips (Fiddle Case Tunebook: Old Time Southern), 1989; pg. 5. Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes, vol. 1), 1994; pg. 24. Reiner (Anthology of Fiddle Styles), 1977; pg. 31. Thede (The Fiddle Book), 1967; pg. 103 (appears as "Bill Cheatem").

Recorded sources: Alcazar Dance Series ALC 202, Sandy Bradley – "Potluck & Dance Tonite!" (1979). County 515, "Mountain Banjo Songs and Tunes." County 542, Blind Joe Mangrum (b. 1853, Paducah, Ky.) – "Nashville: the Early String Bands, Vol. 2" (originally recorded in 1928 for Victor). County 719, Kenny Baker – "Portrait of a Bluegrass Fiddler" (1968). Front Hall 010, Fennigs All Star String Band – "The Hammered Dulcimer Strikes Again." Kicking Mule 202, John Burke – "Fancy Pickin' and Plain Singing." Library of Congress recording, 1939, W.A. Bledsoe, Meridian, Mississippi. Mountain 301, Kyle Creed – "Blue Ridge Style Square Dance Time." Rounder 0016, Vasser Clements – "Crossing the Catskills." Rounder 0093, Jerry Douglas – "Fluxology." Rounder 7002, Graham Townsend – "Le Violin/The Fiddle."




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