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CHILLY WIND(S). Old-Time, Song and Breakdown. USA; Arkansas, Virginia, North Carolina. G Major. The title appears in a list of traditional Ozark Mountain fiddle tunes compiled by musicologist/folklorist Vance Randolph, published in 1954, but it can be found in tradition in several variants throughout the South. Mt. Airy, North Carolina, fiddler and banjo player Tommy Jarrell learned the tune in early in the 20th century and played it in AEae tuning. He related to Mike Seegar:
Carlie Holder and me was playing for a dance when I was about fifteen or sixteen years old--I was just beginning to play the fiddle ...back then you didn't have over six or eight girls, you know, and they'd get tired and want to rest a while. While they was a-resting, why Carlie, he got to playing that tune, the first time I ever heard it. Then I got him to play it right smart little bit, maybe over two or three times and I learned it right there. I was young then, I could listen to a fellow play a tune, you know, and it would go in my head and stay...I thought it was the prettiest thing I ever heard. And I used to know a lot of words to it but I forgot 'em cause I quit making music for about forty years there. I didn't play none much and I forgot some of them songs.
Mike Yates (2002) records that Independence, Virginia, banjo player Wade Ward considered "Chilly Winds" "to be his calling card." Yates identifies the tune as a version of "Lonesome Road Blues," recorded by Ward on a 78 RPM for OKeh records, but not released. He finds two further variants from African-American banjo-song tradition in John Snipe's "Going Where I've Never Gone Before" (Smithsonian Folkways SF CD 40079) and Georgia based Sidney Stripling's "Oh Lawdy Me, Oh Lawdy My" (Rounder 1828).
Source for notated version:
Recorded sources: Alcazar Dance Series ALC 202, Sandy Bradley - "Potluck & Dance Tonite!" (1979). Atlantic 7 82496-2, Wade Ward. Carryon 005, "The Renegades" (1993). County 778, Tommy Jarrell - "Pickin' on Tommy's Porch" (1984?. Learned from Carlie Holder). Heritage XXIV, Tommy Jarrell - "Music of North Carolina" (Bradywine, 1978). Marimac 9009, John Cohen - "Old Time Friends" (1987). Musical Traditions MTCD321-2, Charlie Woods (et al) - "Far on the Mountain, Vols. 1&2" (2002). Reed Island Rounders - "Wolves in the Wood" (1997). Rounder 0132, Bob Carlin - "Fiddle Tunes for Clawhammer Banjo" (1980. Learned from revival musicians in New York in the early 1970's). Rounder CD 0383, Mike Seegar and Paul Brown - "Down in North Carolina." Rounder CD 0395, Blanche Coldiron. Yazoo 2029, Ernest Stoneman & Kahle Brewers (reissue).