Coal Harbor Bend

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X:1 T:Coal Harbor Bend S:Manon Campbell (Ky.), recorded 1978 by John Harrod M:C| L:1/8 F: https://www.slippery-hill.com/recording/coal-harbor-bend-0 Z:Transcribed by Andrew Kuntz K:G ((3DEF||G2)B2 BcBG|E2A2A2((3DEF|G2)B2 BcBG|E2G2G2((3DEF| G2)B2 BcBG|E2A2A2(A2|A2) ^c2 cABA |E2G2G2|| ((3B^cd|e4)e4| BABd e2e2|A2 Bd e2d2|edBG A2G2| [G,4G4]e3d|BABd e2e2|A2 Bd e2d2|edBG A2G2|[M:2/4][G,2G2]((3DEF||



COAL HARBOR BEND. American, Reel (cut time). G Major. Standard, GDgd or GDad tuning (fiddle). AB. Source Manon Campbell (1890-1987) learned the tune from his paternal aunt, Viney Campbell Lusk. Apparently, the source for the tune in the family was Campbell's uncle, who said he learned the tune while rafting down the Kentucky River at night, when he heard it from various house parties and dances along the river. He though it must have been a popular tune indeed, to be played by some many at different locations; only later did he discover that he had been circling in a slow whirlpool at a bend in the river at Coal Harbor; the name stuck [1]. Prior to recording his G Major version of the tune, Manon was also recorded playing the melody in G Mixolydian, in cross-tuning (GDgd). On some recordings Campbell plays an occasional "c" sharp note (formerly not an uncommon practice in Appalachian fiddling), but most modern versions of the tune are solidly in G major.

George Gibson [2] notes that Campbell's first instrument was a gourd fiddle, and that he learned fiddle tunes from an older African-American fiddler by the name of Will Christian (born c. 1872), who was in demand as a dance fiddler in southeastern Kentucky around the turn of the 20th century. "Christian was living in Knott County in 1920," he writes, "where the black banjo player Cullie Williams also resided."

Additional notes

Source for notated version: - Manon Campbell (Hallie, Letcher County, Ky.) [Titon], recorded 1977 by Bruce Greene.

Printed sources : - Titon (Old-Time Kentucky Fiddle Tunes), 2001; No. 26, p. 61.

Recorded sources: -Kentuckians for the Commonwealth Records, Clack Mountain String Band - "Songs for the Mountaintop" (2006). Jason Cade & Rob McMacken - "Hog-Eyed Man 2" (2015).

See also listing at:
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [1]
Hear John Harrod's 1978 field recoding of Manon Campbell playing the tune at Slippery Hill [2]
Hear Bruce Greene's 1977 and 1980 field recordings of Campbell playing the tune [3] (includes the story about his uncle), [4]
See banjo tab at Taterjoes.com [5]



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  1. Jeff Titon, Old-Time Kentucky Fiddle Tunes, 2001, p. 61
  2. Robert B. Winans [Ed.], Banjo Roots and Branches, 2018, Chapt. 14, George R. Gibson - "Black Banjo, Fiddle and Dance in Kentucky and the Amalgamation of African-American and Anglo-American Music."