X:1 T:McKinley L:1/8 M:2/4 N:Transcribed by John Hartford from the playing of Howdy Forrester (Tenn.), N:who had the tune from his Uncle Bob B:Stephen R. Davis - Devil's Box, vol. 22, No. 1, Spring 1988 (p. 41) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:C c/B/|cGEG|c/B/c/d/ cc/d/|c/A/G/F/ E/C/E/G/|D>E DA/c/| BGDG|B>c BB/c/|BGEG|1 c3:|2[M:5/8] c3 Gc|| [M:2/4]d|e2f2|d>c BG|[M:2/8]cd|[M:2/4]e2f2|d>c B>G|(c2 c>)d|c3e|| g2 ea|g2 c'a|g2 ea|ge/g/fd| A e/g/ fd|AA/c/ BG|(c2 c>)d|c3
McKINLEY'S MARCH. AKA - "McKinley." American; March (cut time). C Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABCDEE. The tune was popularized in a recording by bluegrass mandolinist Bill Monroe and his band. It was one of two instrumentals (along with "Texas Gallop") recorded at an evening session at Bradley’s Barn, Mount Juliet. Accompanying Monroe was James Monroe [guitar], Rual Yarbrough [banjo] and Joe Zinkan [bass], Kenny Baker and Tommy Williams [who both played the fiddle]. Gus Meade [Country Music Sources, 2002] notes that there are several variants of the tune in aural tradition from south-central Kentucky's Adair County; these are associated with the "Chinese Breakdown" family of tunes. Said Monroe, "McKinley's March" is an old timer...no telling how old it its. I learned it from my uncle up in Kentucky" [Rosenberg & Wolfe, The Music of Bill Monroe, 2007, p. 161].
Pug Allen of Stuarts Draft, Augusta County, Va., played a tune called "McKinley," recorded by Mike Yates in 1980 (see Musical Traditions MTCD321-2). The title may refer to William McKinley (1843-1901), 25th President of the United States, who was assassinated on September 6th, 1901, by an anarchist factory worker named Leon Czolgosz during a visit to the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo. His murder inspired several old-time songs, including Charlie Poole's "White House Blues" and the Carter Family's "Cannonball Blues."