Hook and Line

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X:1 T:Hook and Line N:From the playing of fiddler John Dykes (c. 1882-1940's, with Dykes' Magic N:City Trio. "Magic City" referred to the planned community of Kingsport, Tenn., N:where the group members lived. M:C| L:1/8 Q:"Fast" R:Reel N:GDgd tuning (fiddle) D:https://www.slippery-hill.com/recording/hook-and-line D:Old Homestead OHCS 191, "Dykes Magic City Trio" D:Brunswick 128 (78 RPM), Dykes Magic City Trio (1927) Z:Transcribed by Andrew Kuntz K:G B-d3 d3(_B-|=B3)B A2G2|B-d3 dedc|BGAF G2[G2B2]| B-d2d- d4|(_B-=B2)B A2A-c|B2d2 dedc|BGAF G2[G2B2]|| +slide+B2BB BAGB|AGGG A2GG|(_B=B)BB {c}BAGB|AGGG G2GG| +slide+B2BB BAGB|AG[GB]G D2 [GB]B| (_B=B)BB {c}BAGB|AGGG G2GG| +slide+B2 Bd BAGB|AG[GB]G D2 [GB]B|(_B=B)BB {c}BAGB|AGGG G2GG| +slide+B2BB BAGB|AG[GB]G D2 [GB]B| (_B=B)BB {c}BAGB|AGGG [G2B2][G2B2]||



HOOK AND LINE. AKA and see "Banjo Sam," "Fish on a Hook," "Mr. Catfish," "Shout Lula/Shout Lulu." Old-Time, Breakdown. USA; Piedmont region of N.C., east Tennessee, western Virginia, northern & eastern Kentucky. GDad tuning (fiddle). Charles Wolfe (1982), writing on the country music of Kentucky, describes it as a driving banjo tune that was recorded by eastern Kentucky musicians in the 1920's. It has been said of that tune both that it was "Heard in many parts of the South but relatively rare" (Kerry Blech), and that it is "said to be the tune all Kentucky banjo players learn on" (Bill Mansfield). "Hook and Line" was in the repertoires of North Carolina musician Dock Boggs (as "Shout Lula") and of African-American fiddler Joe Thompson (who played it in FCgd tuning). Hobart Smith also fiddled the tune, as "Katy Went Fishing with Her Hook and Line," and said "It's a real old piece, handed down from my fathers." Mike Yates (2002) says the song may be based on an early minstrel tune called "My Old Dad," with African-American origins echoed in the version collected by Cecil Sharp from Ebe Richards of Callaway, Franklin County, Virginia, in 1918. Richards knew the song under the title "Jackfish (The)" (i.e. a chain pickerel), with the chorus:

O de lor de gal sindy, sindy,
Lor de gal sindy sue.

Dan Tate (b. 1894), of Fancy Gap, Carroll County, Virginia, sang it as "Fish on a Hook," with these words:

Fish on a hook, fish on a line,
Fish no more 'til the summer time.

Throw my hook to the middle of the pond,
Fish for the girl with a josy on.

See that catfish a-going upstream,
What in the hell does a catfish mean?

Fish that catfish by its snout,
Turn that catfish wrong side out.

The east Tennesse group The Dykes Magic City Trio, who recorded the tune for Brunswick Records in 1927, sang:

Gimme the hook and gimme the line
Gimme that girl they call Caroline

Shout, Lula, shout, shout
What in the world are you shoutin' about.

A version with a similar opening was collected in 1905 in Kentucky, from the MS of C.B. House:

Give me the hook; give me the line;
Give me the gal they call Caroline.
Set my hook, give it a flip;
First thing I knowed, Dad's old lip.
Hook would break; pole would bend;
Bottom of the river old Dad would send.
Nigger went a-fishing on a summer day;
Creek turned over, and the fish got away.
Nigger went a-fishing in the summer time;
Creek turned over, and he went blind.
I went to the river and couldn't get across;
Jumped on a 'possum, and thought he was a horse.
The river was deep, and the bottom was sand;
You ought to seed that 'possum racking through the land.

Basom Traywick (Marshville, Union County, North Carolina) used to perform the song/tune with his father at fiddling conventions and parties in the very early 20th century. The line he remembered was similar to Dykes' Magic Trio:

Stradle the hook, straddle the line,
Give me the gal they call Caroline.

John Dykes' Magic City Trio


Additional notes
Source for notated version : - John Dykes [Milliner & Koken].

Printed sources : - Milliner & Koken (Milliner-Koken Collection of American Fiddle Tunes), 2011; p. 304.

Recorded sources : - Brunswick 128 (78 RPM), Dykes Magic City Trio (1927). Gennett Records (78 RPM), The Hatton Brothers (1933. Soon after their only session the fiddler and banjoist brothers gave up music, and Jess, the younger brother, became a full-time minister for the Mormon Church). Global Village C217, (Black fiddle and banjo players) Joe and Odel Thompson – "Old Time Music From the North Carolina Piedmont." Musical Traditions MTCD321-2, Dan Tate (et al) – "Far in the Mountains ol. 1 & 2" (2002). Old Homestead OHCS 191, "Dykes Magic City Trio" (known as well to him as "Shout Lula"). Rounder CD 1701, Hobart Smith – "Southern Journey, vol. 1: Voices from the American South." Yodel-Ay-Hee 008, One Eyed Dog – "Traditional Mountain Tunes" (1993).

See also listing at :
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [1]
Hear John Dykes' Magic City Trio's 1927 recording at Slippery Hill [2]
Hear Farmer Howell & Rufus Crisp's (Allen, Ky.) 1946 home recording at Slippery Hill [3]



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