Getting George Bush Upstairs

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X:1 T:Getting George Bush Upstairs N:From the playing of Kentucky fiddler Perry Riley (1893-1986), recorded N:in the field in 1973 by Mark Wilson. M:C| L:1/8 N:AEae tuning D:Rounder Records 0376, Perry Riley - "Traditional Fiddle Music of Kentucky, vol. 1: Up the Ohio and Lickng Rivers" (1997) D:https://www.slippery-hill.com/content/getting-george-bush-upstairs Z:Andrew Kuntz K:A +slide+[e3e3]f e2c2|[A2e2]ea ec3|+slide+[e3e3]f e2 c2|dcBA cA3| [M:C|]+slide+[e3e3]f e2c2|d2e2f2a2|+slide+b2af e2d2|1cABc +slide+[A4A4]:|2 [M:3/2]cABA A4 A3F|| [M:C|][D3F3] [DF][D2F2][DF][DF]|EC[CE]C [C2E2][C2E2] FEFG|[A3A3]A [A2A2][A2A2]| |:FD-D[DF] [D2F2][DF][DF]|[CE]C[CE]C [C2E2][C2E2] FEFG|1[A3A3] A [A2A2][A2A2]:|2 [A3A3][AA][A4A4]||



Perry Riley
GETTING GEORGE BUSH UPSTAIRS. American, Reel (cut time). A Major. AEae tuning (fiddle). AA'BB'. The tune and title (of which there are several variations) long predate the American Presidents of that name. The source for most modern versions is Kentucky fiddler Perry Riley (1893-1986) who was an elder cousin to another famous Kentucky fiddler, Buddy Thomas. Although lame from childhood, Riley was an itinerant laborer who wandered the South in search of work, living at different times in West Virginia and Arkansas[1] As Thomas related to Mark Wilson:

There weren’t hardly any other fiddlers around when I was growing up, only Perry Riley and he’d just come through every once in a while. He’s my second cousin on my mother’s side. He worked in West Virginia and Arkansas a lot and he’d go away and nobody would even know whether he was dead or alive. Once when I was a boy, it was fifteen years before we ever saw him again[2].


Additional notes
Source for notated version : - Perry Riley (1893-1986, Haynes Crossing, northeast Ky.) [Milliner & Koken], recorded in 1973 by Mark Wilson.

Printed sources : - Milliner & Koken (Milliner-Koken Collection of American Fiddle Tunes), 2011; p. 235.

Recorded sources : - Rounder Select CD 0376, Perry Riley - "Traditional Fiddle Music of Kentucky, Vol. 1: Up the Ohio and Licking Rivers" (1997).

See also listing at :
Hear Perry Riley's 1973 recording at Slippery Hill [1]
See also standard notation transcriptions by John Lamancusa [2] and Mark Wardenburg [3]



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  1. Mark Wilson. Liner notes to Rounder Select CD 0376, "Up the Ohio and Licking Rivers", 1997.
  2. https://oldtimeparty.wordpress.com/2012/08/10/buddy-thomas/