Dead Slave (The)

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DEAD SLAVE, THE. AKA- "The Dead N....r." AKA and see "Boone County Rag," "Black Foot Rag," "Fiddler's Hoedown." Old-Time, Breakdown. USA, Missouri (an "old Boone County tune"-Christeson). D Major. Standard or ADae tuning (fiddle). AABB (Christeson): AABBCC' (Phillips). Howard Marshall informs that this tune was popularized by "The Fiddlin' Sheriff," George Morris, of Columbia in the 30s, 40s, and early 50s. "The title of the tune is said by many, including the late Taylor McBaine, to commemorate a public lynching of a black man in Columbia, sometime in the late 1920s. The victim of the lynching was accused of raping the young daughter of a professor at the University of Missouri and was awaiting trial. The site of the rape was a wooden bridge (now gone) over the old KATY railroad tracks on the west side of campus; when the mob took the fellow from the Boone County jail up town, they brought him to the spot and hung him from the bridge over the KATY tracks. The girl's father pleaded with the mob, but to no avail. The story was covered in local papers. I think "Dead Slave" was Bob Christeson's "AKA" for the actual title..." Missouri fiddlers also call the tune "Fiddler's Hoedown" (after Pete McMahan, who used the title as well as "Black Foot Rag" for the tune), while the Ozark's breakdown "Brickyard Joe [1]" has a similar first strain.

Source for notated version: John Hartford [Phillips]; Charlie Walden [Christeson].

Printed sources: Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes, vol. 1), 1994; p. 67. R.P. Christeson (Old Time Fiddlers Repertory, vol. 2), 1984; p. 64.

Recorded sources:




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