Oklahoma Redbird

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OKLAHOMA REDBIRD. AKA and see "Spotted Pony (1)." Old-Time, Hornpipe. USA, Missouri. B Flat Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Silberberg): AABB (Phillips). The source for this tune, Lyman Enloe (1906-1997), was originally from Miller County, in the Missouri Ozarks region, and this was one of his favorite tunes. He performed in the 1920's with his uncle Tony Gilmore on local radio stations, and was an active dance and contest performer in his youth. "Oklahoma Redbird" is one of '100 essential Missouri tunes' listed by Missouri fiddler Charlie Walden. The tune is generally credited to Enloe, remarks R.P. Christeson, although there are versions that predate his 1976 recording. Bill Shull (1993) remarks that Enloe took his tune from a commercial recording, and that many fiddlers in his area played it.

Lyman Enloe (1906-1997



Christeson has nearly the exact setting in his Old Time Fiddler's Repertory vol. 1 (1973, No. 43) from a 1953 field recording of Enloe's uncle, Tony Gilmore, who called it "Spotted Pony (1)." The connection with the seemingly unrelated tune that generally goes by that name (see "Spotted Pony (2)") is through Cecil Johnson and John Ashby's "Snowshoes (2)," a three part tune in 'D'. The first strain of "Snowshoes (2)" is similar enough to "Oklahoma Redbird" to be cognate, but the other parts differ. However the second strain of "Snowshoes (2)" is a version of the second strain of "Spotted Pony (2)," and thus Gilmore's transfer of the names. The "Spotted Pony" title seems unique to Gilmore, and was not in circulation.

Sources for notated versions: Lyman Enloe [Phillips]; Jack Link [Silberberg].

Printed sources: Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes, vol. 2), 1995; p. 211. Shull (Uncle Pink and other central Missouri fiddle tunes from Lyman Enloe), 1993; p. 28. Silberberg (Tunes I Learned at Tractor Tavern), 2002; p. 109.

Recorded sources: County CD CO-CD-2707, Lyman Enloe - "Fiddle Tunes I Recall" (1973). Voyager VRCD 344, Howard Marshall & John Williams - "Fiddling Missouri" (1999).

See also listing at:
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [1]
Hear Enloe's 1973 recording on youtube.com [2]
Hear Missouri fiddler Charlie Walden play the tune (at a learning pace) on youtube.com [3]




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