High Yellow

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HIGH YELLOW. Old-Time, Breakdown. USA, western Virginia. C Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The title was a term applied to a mulatto or light-skinned African-American. The tune is sourced to Glen Lynn, southwest Virginia, fiddler Henry Reed (1884-1968), who was visited by folklorist Alan Jabbour in 1966-67 and who collected a wealth of tunes and lore from him. According to Alan Jabbour, this rag-time influenced tune was learned by Reed from a Black fiddler by the name of Mr. Hites(?), who lived in Pennsylvania. However, Jabbour also states (on the LOC American Memory "Fiddle Tunes of the Old Frontier site [1]) in his notes that Reed told him he learned the tune from a mulatto fiddler from Texas, and on another occasion Reed suggested that this fiddler was from Cabell County, West Virginia. Reed had no title for the tune; the one given above was supplied by Jabbour and his former band-mates in the Hollow Rock String Band.

Source for notated version: Woody Woodring [Phillips].

Printed sources: Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes), vol. 1, 1994; p. 112.

Recorded sources: Flying Fish FF-055, The Red Clay Ramblers - "Merchants Lunch" (1977. Credited to Henry Reed). CD, Alan Jabbour, James Reed, Bertram Levy - "A Henry Reed Reunion" (2002).




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