X:1 T:Black River M:2/4 L:1/8 R:Reel B:Stephen F. Davis - The Devil's Box, vol. 27, No. 2, Summer 1993 (p. 31) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:C G,|CE/F/ G/A/G/E/|F/G/A/B/ c/d/c/A/|CE/F/ G/E/C/E/|D/E/C/C/ B,/G,/G,| CE/F/ G/E/C/E/|F/G/A/B/ c/d/c/A/|B/c/d/e/ f/a/g/f/|e/c/d/B/ c:| |:c/d/|e/g/e/d/ c/B/c/d/|e/f/g/e/ c/A/d/c/|B/d/B/A/ GG/G/|e/f/g/e/ c/A/c/d/| e/f/e/d/ c/B/c/d/|e/f/g/e/ c/A/d/c/|B/d/B/A/ G/B/A/B/|cc/d/ c||
BLACK RIVER. American, Reel (cut time). USA, Missouri. C Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. See note for "Ladies in the Ballroom (2)," and "Rattlesnake Bit the Baby." Liner notes to Gene Goforth's album say that Ken Curtis, who played the character Festus on American TV's long-running Gunsmoke, whistled the tune and called it "Cherokee Square Dance." John Hartford calls it a 'cousin' to Howdy Forrester's "Ladies in the Ballroom (2)," and Bill Monore's "Boston Boy." When Hartford transcribed the tune he credited Walter Alexander for it, and the arrangement to Goforth. While still a teenager in the late 1950's, Hartford made a field recording of Alexander playing the tune.
Black River, a tributary of the White River, sources in the Missouri Ozarks (forming the border between Independence and Jackson Counties) then runs south through Arkansas, generally marking the border between the Mississippi delta and the Arkansas foothills regions.