Decatur Street Rag
X:1 T:Decatur Street Rag N:From the playing of fiddler George Walburn (Hogansville, Georgia) M:C| L:1/8 R:Country Rag D:OKeh 45305 (78 RPM), George Walburn & Emmett Hethcox (1927) D:https://www.slippery-hill.com/recording/decatur-street-rag Z:Transcribed by Andrew Kuntz K:F Sf3f |f2c2 d2A2|c2A2 A2Ac| ccc2 d2e2|f4-f2ff| f2c2 d2A2 |c2d2e2f2| g3fg2a2|g4-g2ff| f2c2 d2A2|c2A2 A2 c2|d3e f2g2| a4-a2fg| a2g2f2e2|d2c2A2AB| c2c2d2e2|f4:| |:f2c2|d3e d3e| d2c2 A3A| d2e2f2g2|a3b agfe| d3e d3e|d2c2 A3A|c2=B2c2d2|e3g-a4| d3e d3e| d2c2 A3A| d2e2f2g2|a4- a2fg| a2g2f2e2|d2c2A2AB|c2c2d2e2|f4S:|
DECATUR STREET RAG. American, Country Rag (cut time). F Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The tune was recorded in Atlanta in 1927 by fiddler George Walburn, accompanied on guitar by Emmett Heathcox, both of Hogansville, Atlanta. The duo recorded a several times in the mid-1920's for OKeh, and made appearances on WSB. George Walburn's Footscorchers, featuring Walburn on fiddle (with backing by unknown banjo and guitar players), also recorded for Columbia in 1931.
Their name for the tune, "Decatur Street Rag," refers to Decatur Street, which, along with Auburn Ave., was in the early 20th century the heart of the African-American entertainment district in the city of Atlanta, Georgia, and the site of dance halls, saloons, and dives, where whiskey and drugs were peddled and where ragtime music was played. It was also the locus of the 1906 race riots in the city. Auburn Ave., a couple of blocks north of Decatur Street, at the same time was a street that housed many prosperous black-owned enterprises. This section of the city was one that offered opportunities for both commercial success and patronage for blacks — as well as immigrants — who were excluded from white Atlanta culture.
- Wayne W. Daniel, Pickin' on Peachtree, 2001, p. 79.