Coal Creek March

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COAL CREEK MARCH. Old-Time, Breakdown. USA; Russell County, southwest Va., N.C., northeast Tenn., central Ky., north Georgia. The title commemorates the 1890 coal mining war in Anderson County, Tennessee. It was in the repertoire of Fiddlin' Cowan Powers (1877-1952?) family band of Russell County, Va.; his son Charlie Powers, who played banjo in the ensemble, taught the tune to Dock Boggs (C. Wolfe). The melody became reknowned as a banjo tune in northeast Tennessee and Kentucky, and was a Dick Burnett (Monticello, Ky.) showpiece, whose performance featured rapping on the banjo head to represent the drumming of militia. Marion Underwood's (Madison and Garrard Counties, Ky.) 1927 recording of the piece for Gennett remains one of the finest examples of mountain-style banjo picking, in the opinion of musicologist Charles Wolfe (1982) and others, and was an influential rendition, as was a version by Pete Steele {Underwood was also the banjoist for Taylor's Kentucky Boys, who recorded for Gennett and featured Jim Booker on fiddle--the only black hoedown fiddler known to have recorded commercially}. It was learned by Georgia musician George Childers from his cousin Uncle John Childers, the former saying of the tune that it was so common in his region that "everybody has a different version of 'Coal Creek March.'" "Coleman's March (1)" is a related tune.

Additional notes

Source for notated version: -

Printed sources : -

Recorded sources: -Copper Creek CCCD-0196, Tom, Brad & Alice - "We'll Die in the Pig Pen Fighting." County 788, Clyde Davenport (Monticello, Ky.) - "Clydeoscope: Rare and Beautiful Tunes from the Cumberland Plateau" (1986). Folkways FTS 31062, "Ship in the Clouds: Old Time Instrumental Music" (1978. Learned from Marion Underwood's recording). Gennett 6240 (78 RPM), Marion Underwood (Ky.), 1927. Voyager VRCD-354, Hart & Blech - "Build Me a Boat."



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