Lonesome John

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X:1 T:Lonesome John N:From the playing of John Morgan Salyer (1882-1952, Salyersville, Magoffin County, eastern Ky.) N:recorded at home 1941/42 by his sons on a disc player M:C| L:1/8 R:Reel Q:"Very Fast" N:AEae tuning (fiddle) N:Salyer's 'c' notes often seem in between c sharp and c natural. D:Berea Sound Archives https://soundarchives.berea.edu/items/show/4273 Z:Transcribed by Andrew Kuntz K:Ador [A,2E2]-|[A,E]EAB c2d2|edc2A2[A,2E2]-|[A,E]EAB c2d2| [e3e3][de]-[e2e2][A,2E2]-| [A,E]EAB c2d|edc2 A2gf|edc2 A2 G2|A3A A2:|| |:ef|g2ag e2d2|ed c2A2a2-|abag e2d2| [e3e3][de]-[e2e2]ef| g2 ag e2d2|ed c2A2gf|ed c2 A2 G2|A3 A A2:||



LONESOME JOHN. American, Reel (cut time). USA, Kentucky. A Aeolian (Krassen): A Dorian (Reiner): A Mixolydian (Titon). Standard or AEae tunings (fiddle). AAB (Krassen): AABB (Reiner, Titon). A popular east Kentucky tune, particularly in Magoffin and Morgan Counties. Jeff Titon (2001) notes that his source, John Salyer (1882-1952) played his 'c' notes at an intonation between a 'c' natural and a 'c' sharp. This is not a mistake or poor technique, but a legitimate characteristic of the tonality of many old-time fiddlers. Salyer himself called such intonation 'wild' notes. Mike Yates (2002) believes this tune to be related to "Salt Creek," "Salt River (2)" and Hobart Smith's "Pateroller Song (The)" (the latter is not the tune that is alternately called "Run, N....r, Run").

Additional notes

John Salyer

Sources for notated versions: - "Fiddlin' Sam Kelly" (i.e. Santford Kelly {1898-1973} of West Liberty, Morgan County, Ky.) [Krassen]; John M. Salyer (Salyersville, Magoffin County, Ky.) [Titon].

Printed sources : - Krassen (Appalachian Fiddle), 1973; p. 38. Reiner (Anthology of Fiddle Styles), 1979; p. 28. Titon (Old-Time Kentucky Fiddle Tunes), 2001; No. 95, p. 124.

Recorded sources: - Berea College Appalachian Center AC003, "John M. Salyer, Home Recordings 1941-42" (1993). Greenhays GR 710, John McCutcheon - "Fine Times at Our House" (1982. Learned from Scott Boatright, Fort Blackmore, Va.).

See also listing at:
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [1]
Hear Bruce Greene's 1977 field recording of Glen Fannin (originally from Magoffin County, Ky.) at Berea Digital Content [2]
Hear John Salyer's (Magoffin County, Ky.) 1940-41 home recording at Berea Sound Archives [3]
Hear Bruce Greene's 1990 field recording of Hassell Helton (Magoffin County, Ky.) at Berea Digital Content [4]
Hear John Harrod's recording of Santford Kelly (Morgan County, Ky.) at Berea Digital Content [5]
Hear Jake Krack's version at Berea Digital Content [6]



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