Lime Rock

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LIME ROCK. AKA - "Limestone Rag." Texas Style, Breakdown. A Major ('A' part), D Major ('B' part) & E Major ('C' part). Standard tuning (fiddle). AABAACCAABB (Brody): AA'BAA'CC'AA' (Phillips): AA'BB'CCAA'BB' (Silberberg). The composer of the tune is reputedly Texas fiddler (and Cherokee Native American) Bryant Houston, though some credit Lum Sellers, or Milton or Matt Brown (the latter was a medicine show operator). Texas fiddler Norman Solomon said that "Limerock" was composed by Cap Houston, Bryant Houston's father, but that Bryant further developed the tune and the variations. Charles Wolfe finds the earliest recording of the tune to be by Smith's Garage Fiddle Band, whose leader was fiddler Samuel Morgan Peacock from Johnson County, Texas (who lived most of his life in Cleburne, near Dallas). Peacock was another fiddling barber and died after collapsing on the sidewalk in front of his barber shop in 1932. The band recorded it for Vocalion in San Antonio, Texas, in March, 1929. Although it is not known what inspired the title, there is a Lime Rock Mountain in Stephens County, Texas. It may be that mountains called "Lime Rock," like mountains called 'Sugar Loaf", are derived from visual similarity to processed substances-sugar formerly was dispensed by loaf before the advent of the granulated manufacturing process, while rock lime (also called 'roach lime', from the French roche meaning rock or stone) is lime just taken from the kiln, burnt, before being slaked and while still in the form of stones (P.W. Joyce).

Sources for notated versions: Byron Berline [Brody, Phillips]; Glenn Berry [Silberberg].

Printed sources: Brody (Fiddler's Fakebook), 1983; p. 169. Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes), vol. 2, 1995; p. 77. Silberberg (93 Fiddle Tunes I Didn't Learn at the Tractor Tavern), 2004; p. 26 (appears as "Limestone Rag").

Recorded sources: Rounder 0100, Byron Berline- "Dad's Favorites." Rounder 0099, Dan Crary- "Lady's Fancy." American Heritage 516, Jana Greif- "I Love Fiddlin.'" American Heritage 24, Lonnie Peerce- "Golden Fiddle Tones." American Heritage 1, Herman Johnson- "Champion Fiddlin.'" Vocalion 5336 (78 RPM), Smith's Garage Band (1929).

See also listing at:
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [1]




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