Muddy Road to Duck Town

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MUDDY ROAD TO DUCK TOWN. AKA - "Muddy Road to Ducktown." AKA and see "Muddy Road to Moberly." Old-Time, Breakdown. A Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). ABC. Popularized by Alabama fiddler James Bryan, who learned it from the playing of elderly fiddler Robert McKinley 'Uncle Bob' Douglas (Chattanooga, Tenn., born 1900, who lived to age 101). Douglas was born in College Station, Bledsoe County, in the Cumberland Mountains, but grew up in the Sequatchie Valley. His father was an excellent fiddler as well, and, in 1928 when he could no longer play, gave his old German fiddle to Bob, who also played it all his life (it is now housed in the Museum of Appalachia, near Clinton, Tenn.). Douglas told Bryan that he had learned it when he was a young man from another fiddler, who himself was elderly at the time. In a newspaper interview [The Herald-News, Rhea County, 7/8/2010] "Bob said that during the war [World War II], soldiers were building a road from Georgia to Ducktown. He said the road was awfully muddy. One Saturday night, Bob played a tune at a dance held for the soldiers so he decided to name the tune 'Muddy Road to Ducktown'."

A funeral in Ducktown, c. 1905.



Ducktown is a small town in the Appalachians in the southeast corner of Tennessee, near the intersection of Tennessee, Georgia, and North Carolina. According to tradition, Ducktown was named after a Cherokee leader named Chief Duck (the tribe called their village Kawana, which translates as 'duck town').

Bob Douglas

Source for notated version: Bob Douglas (Chattanooga, Tenn.) [Silberberg].

Printed sources: Silberberg (Tunes I Learned at Tractor Tavern), 2002; p. 102.

Recorded sources: Ducktown Station - "Tennessee Twister" (2006).

See also listing at:
Hear James Bryan, Tom Jackson, and Carl Jones play the tune in 2002 at the Digital Library of Appalachia [1]




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