Fred Wilson's Clog (1)

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X:1 T:Fred Wilson's (Clog) [1] M:C| L:1/8 R:Hornpipe or Clog S:Ryan's Mammoth Collection (1883) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:F (c>A) | F>Ac>A G>Bd>B | A>cf>g a>fc>A | B>dg>b A>cf>a | (3gag (3fed (3cdc (3BAG | F>Ac>A G>Bd>B | A>cf>g a>fc>A | B>dg>f e>cd>e | f2a2f2 :| |: (ef) | g>c(3ccc a>c(3ccc | b>ca>c g>c(3ccc | b>ca>c g>fe>f | (3gag (3fed (3cdc (3BAG | F>Ac>A G>Bd>B | A>cf>g a>fc>A | B>dg>f e>cd>e | f2a2f2 :||

FRED WILSON'S CLOG [1]. AKA and see Billy Wilson's Clog, Zig-Zag Hornpipe, Cincinnati Hornpipe (1), Cliff Hornpipe, Higgins' Hornpipe, Dundee Hornpipe, Harvest Home (1), Kephart's Clog, Kildare Fancy, Snyder's Jig, Wilson's Clog (1), Brown's Hornpipe, Fisherman's Favorite, Ruby Lip, Fred Wilson's Hornpipe, California Schottische, Clog du vieillard, Cork Hornpipe (1), Granny Will Your Dog Bite? (4), Double Shuffle (3) (The), Standard Hornpipe (The), Clog en Fa (2) (Boucher).

"Fred Wilson's Clog" is a prominent member of a very large and popular hornpipe family that includes the titles listed above, and undoubtedly some others as well. Cliff Hornpipe <div class="mw-ext-score" data-midi="/w/images/lilypond/p/r/prk8h6p20bglhar5fecne709ulmak6e/prk8h6p2.midi"><img src="/w/images/lilypond/p/r/prk8h6p20bglhar5fecne709ulmak6e/prk8h6p2.png" width="757" height="146" alt=" X:1 M:C L:1/8 K:F c>A|F>Ac>A F>Bd>B|A>cf>c a>fc>A|B>dg>b A>cf>a|(3gaf (3efd (3cdB (3ABG| "/></div> and Clog du vieillard <div class="mw-ext-score" data-midi="/w/images/lilypond/q/3/q3j7rqzv8ulv3xqx8y0hq8elzz1u4s7/q3j7rqzv.midi"><img src="/w/images/lilypond/q/3/q3j7rqzv8ulv3xqx8y0hq8elzz1u4s7/q3j7rqzv.png" width="662" height="56" alt=" X:1 M:C| L:1/8 K:D DFAF GABG|FAde fdAF|G2 gf edcd|edcB AGFE| "/></div> are perhaps the closest versions, while Harvest Home (1) <div class="mw-ext-score" data-midi="/w/images/lilypond/8/9/89yezvtjranjvkxih5gftl3mfmpvtlz/89yezvtj.midi"><img src="/w/images/lilypond/8/9/89yezvtjranjvkxih5gftl3mfmpvtlz/89yezvtj.png" width="697" height="52" alt=" X:1 M:C| L:1/8 K:D |:cd|eAAA fAAA|gAAA fAAA|eAfA gAfA|edcB AGFE| "/></div> and its closest variants are related to "Fred Wilson's" in the distinctive 'B' part, or second strain, with the first parts being either distantly related or unrelated. Bayard states that this well-known tune was a favorite of Pennsylvania fiddlers and fifers, and guesses it dates to the early 19th century. It was one of the tunes listed in the repertoire of Maine musician Mellie Dunham, who was Henry Ford's champion fiddler in the late 1920's.

Fred Wilson

Edward Le Roy Rice, in his book Monarchs of Minstrelsy (New York, 1911), gives this bio of Fred Wilson:

FRED WILSON. The distinction of being the oldest living minstrel undoubtedly belongs to the subject of this sketch, who made his first appearance about 1843, and for four or five years allied himself with many of the various minstrel companies that sprang up after the success of the parent organization. In 1848 he joined 'Bije' Thayer's Minstrels, a prominent Boston Company. While Mr. Wilson was not the first to do clog dancing in this country, he was undoubtedly the first to do so in a minstrel company. In the Fall of 1858 he joined Bryant's Minstrels in New York, and about December 1, that year, made his first appearance in Boston with the Morris Bros., Pell and Trowbridge's Minstrels, where he made a lengthy stay. April 29, 1861, he opened with Lloyd's Minstrels in New York, closing May 25, following. Later he went to China in a government capacity, but not liking the cooking in the Celestial Empire, returned to the United States, arriving January 25, 1864. (Charley) Morris and Wilson's Minstrels opened their permanent Home in St. Louis, April 10, 1865; the partnership dissolved in February, 1867. Fred Wilson's Minstrels toured for two or three years, and then Mr. Wilson made another foreign trip; but returned in the Summer of 1871. In 1872 he was with Cal. Wagner's Minstrels, and in 1875 made another foreign invasion, remaining abroad five years, returning in 1880 and joining Haverly's Minstrels. Subsequently Mr. Wilson, whose specialty for many years had been clog dancing, except in 1852 when he was a clown in a circus, took up executive duties with many minstrel and other organizations. He also promoted several attractions of his own. Fred Wilson was born in Boston, Mass., November 9, 1827.


Frank Dumont in an article in the New York Clipper[1] credits Wilson with introducing the clog dance on the minstrel stage several years before the Civil War, when he was with Morris Brothers' Minstrels. "Fred Wilson's" was one of many tunes learned from Ryan/Cole's by Cape Breton fiddlers and, according to Richard Nevins (Shanachie 14001), was popular around Margaree, Cape Breton (fiddler Angus Chisholm was born in Margaree Forks).

Additional notes
Source for notated version : - 8 southwestern Pa. fidders [Bayard]; fiddler Dawson Girdwood (Perth, Ottawa Valley, Ontario) [Bégin].

Printed sources : - Bayard (Dance to the Fiddle), 1981; No. 410A-H, pp. 389-392. Begin (Fiddle Music from the Ottawa Valley: Dawson Girdwood), 1985; No. 42, p. 52 (appears as "Fed Wilson's Hornpipe"). Cazden (Dances from Woodland), 1955; p. 37. Cole (1000 Fiddle Tunes), 1940; p. 100 (appears as "Fred Wilson's Hornpipe"). Ford (Traditional Music in America), 1940; p. 100. O'Malley & Atwood (Seventy Good Old Dances), 1919; p. 34. Ryan's Mammoth Collection, 1883; p. 135. Sweet (Fifer's Delight); No. or p. 47 (appears as "Zig-Zag"). Tolman (Nelson Music Collection), 1969; p. 16 (appears as "Fred Wilson's"). White's Excelsior Collection, 1907; p. 43. White's Unique Collection, 1896; No. 113. Winner (New American School for the Banjo), 1883; p. 41 (appears as "Clog Hornpipe").

Recorded sources : - Shanachie 14001, "The Early Recordings of Angus Chisholm" (1978). Fretless 101, "The Campbell Family: Champion Fiddlers" (as "Billy Wilson's Clog"). Fretless 103, "Clem Myers: Northeast Regional Old Time Fiddle Champion 1967 & 1970 (as "Billy Wilson's Clog"). Front Hall 01, Bill Spence & Fennigs All Stars –"The Hammered Dulcimer.

See also listing at :
Alan Ng's [1]
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [2]
Alan Snyder's Cape Breton Fiddle Recordings Index [3]
Hear Angus Chisholm's recording at Juneberry 78's [4]
Hear Cape Breton fiddler Angus Chisholm play the tune on a 78 RPM recording made in Boston, Mass. [5] (paired with "Fred Wilson's Clog")] (2nd tune, paired with "Minnie Foster's Clog")
Hear Don Messer's recording at Ted McGraw's site [6] (preceded by "Dale's Beat").

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  1. New York Clipper, March 27, 1915—"The Younger Generation in Minstrelsy and Reminiscences of the Past"