Long Island Reel

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LONG ISLAND REEL. AKA and see "Green Mountain (2)." American, Reel. The composition is attributed to Clem Titus in Coe's 1875 publication Jigs and Reels, whose full title is: Coe's Album of Jigs and Reels, something new, for professional and amateur violinists, leaders of orchestras, quadrille bands, and clog, reel and jig dancers; consisting of a Grand Collection of entirely New and Original Clog-Hornpipes, Reels, jigs, Scotch Reels, Irish Reels and Jigs, Waltzes, Walk-Arounds, etc. A few of Titus's tunes were also printed in Ryan's Mammoth Collection (1883). The tune is a member of (and perhaps precursor to) the tune family whose most prominent members are "Green Mountain (2)" and "Maid Behind the Bar (1) (The)."

There is very little information about Titus, but he and another contributor to Elias Howe's publications, Zeke Backus, are mentioned in Col. Thomas Allston Brown's articles in the New York Clipper (22 June 1889) and his volume A History of the New York Stage, vol. 1 (1903, pp. 361-362), in an entry detailing "White's Melodeon", "the first cheap theater" in New York. It opened in 1846 at 53 Bowery, burned om 1847, was rebuilt, and burned a second time in 1849, after which a five story house was erected on the site.

Negro minstrelsy by White's Serenaders was its principal attraction...Among those who became famous in the minstrel world afterwards, and who appeared here, were Master Juba, Neil Hall, tambourine, Bill Smith, bones (Smigh was noted for his large mouth); Fran Stanton, banjo; Clem Titus, violin jig player, and Zeke Backus, violin ad reel accompanist.

Titus died in Apalachacola (presumably Apalachicola, Florida, near Tallahassee) sometime before September, 1862, when his name appears in a list of deceased minstrel performs in the New York Clipper (6 September 1862). See also Dan Emmett's "Clem Titus Jig."

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