Eli Greene's Cakewalk

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X: 1 T:Eli Greene's Cakewalk C:Sadie Koninsky M:4/4 R:Cakewalk (Rag) Q:1/2=120 L:1/8 K:Emin "Em"E3FG2F2|"Em"EFGAB2 e2|"Em"E3FG2F2|"Em"EFGA B2B2|"Am"c3c"Em"B2B2| "Am"c3c"Em"B4|1 B3c BAGA|"B7"B8:|2"Em"B3c "B7"BAGF|"Em".E4"D"D4|| |:"G"d^cde dcde|"D"d2B2 G2A2|"Em"AB2c BAGA|"G"BBG2 D2E2|"D"D3D"A7"G2 G2| "D7"F2d2 d4|"D7"d^cde d=cBA|1 "G"G2B2 G4:|2"G" G2B2 G2"B7"F2||

ELI GREEN(E)'S CAKEWALK. American, Cakewalk (whole time). USA, Nebraska. A Minor ('A' part) & C Major ('B part) {Christeson}: E Minor ('A' part) & G Major ('B' part) {Phillips, Songer}. Standard tuning (fiddle). ABB + Coda (Christeson): AA'BB (Phillips): AA'BB' (Songer). A cakewalk is a kind of march, often syncopated, derived from the 19th century African American dance contests in which the walkers who performed the most accomplished or amusing steps were awarded the prize of a cake. "Eil Greene's Cakewalk" was composed by Sadie Koninsky and published in 1896 during the national vogue for cakewalks. Music publisher Edward B. Marks, in his book They All Sang (1934, p. 94), recalled:


We had a big cakewalk hit, by the way. A young girl from Troy, New York, came into the office one day with a letter of introduction and a tune she had written. Her name was Sadie Koninsky--she had a music counter in a department store. Dave Reed Jr., wrote some words; and "Eli Green's Cakewalk" made a hit. It had only one successful competitor for popular favour, Kerry Mills's "Georgia Camp Meeting." Miss Koninsky never wrote another hit.

The variants that have survived in fiddling tradition usually are somewhat truncated versions of the original, more faithful to Koninsky's first strain than to the second. Christeson's source was an elderly man in the 1950's and who had made a living busking among work crews and labor camps in his youth.

Additional notes
Source for notated version : - W.A. "Banjo Bill" Lottridge (Lincoln, Nebraska) [Christeson]; Stuart Williams (Seattle, Washington), who learned if from fiddler and folklorist Linda Danielson (Eugene, Oregon), who collected it from Oregon fiddler Wayne Walter, the nephew of Uncle Bob Walters--collector R.P. Christeson's source [Songer]; Stuart Williams himself says he learned it in the early 1970's from Arlie Schaefer, then living in Roseburg, Oregon (but originally from Michigan's Upper Peninsula), with 'bits and pieces' of Oregon old-time fiddler Wayne Walters' version [Williams].

Printed sources : - R.P. Christeson (Old Time Fiddlers Repertory, vol. 2), 1984; p. 118-119. Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes), vol. 2, 1995; p. 47. Songer (Portland Collection), 1997; p. 71. Stuart Williams (The Evergreen Fiddler, vol. I), 2005; p. 7.

Recorded sources : - Berliner disc 485 (7"), Cullen & Collins (May, 1898. Banjo duet). Missouri State Old Time Fiddlers' Association, Bob Walters (b. 1889) - "Drunken Wagoneer." George Penk, Clyde Curley & Susan Songer - "A Portland Selection."

See also listing at :
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: A Guide to Recorded Sources [1]
Hear Cullen & Collins' 1898 recording at youtube.com [2] and the Library of Congress [3]

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