Old Flannigan

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X:1 T:Old Flannigan N:From the playing of the Blue Ridge Mountaineers, 1929 M:C| L:1/8 D:Gennett 6870 (78 RPM), Blue Ridge Mountaineers (1929) D: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0P1K5uKd_8o Z:Transcribed by Andrew Kuntz K:A e2fg||Sagaf ecee|{f} =gfed ceA2|dcBA GBGB |eceg fec2| agaf ece2|{f}=gfed cce2|EGBc dBG2|A2 ce a2eg-| agaf ecee{f}|=gfed cde2|dcBA GEGB|eceg fe c2| agaf ece2|{f}=gfed c2e2|EGBc dBG2|A2 ce a4|| K:E Bege bege|Bege bege|agfe dfdf|e2ef gfe2| Bege bege|Bege bege|agfe dfdf|1e2gb e'4:|2e2 gb e'2fgS||



OLD FLANNIGAN/FLANAGAN. American, Reel (cut time). USA, Kentucky. A Major ('A' part) & E Major ('B' part). Standard or AEae tuning (fiddle). AABB (Songer): AABB' (Phillips). The tune was brought north to Kentucky by a fiddler named Brack Flannigan, originally from Texas, who settled in the Gallatin/Grant County area. It was recorded by a Grant County, northeast Kentucky, band called the Blue Ridge Mountaineers in 1929 in Richmond, Indiana, one of only two sides the group recorded. The Mountaineer's fiddler, Frank Miller, had the tune from his uncle John Hall who had learned it from Flannigan, and Miller and his cousin (John's son, Jarvie Hall) were the only two fiddlers who are known to have played the tune. Having no name for it, they called it after their original source [1]. The story may be somewhat apocryphal as the tune appears to be derived from "Old Mother Flanagan." Collector John Harrod explains the Ohio River fiddle style, a la Frank Miller, sounds similar to Canadian fiddling, fast and 'notey'.

See also the related Missouri melody "'A' and 'E' Rag."

Additional notes

Source for notated version: - Frank Miller with the Blue Ridge Mountaineers (north-central Kentucky) [Phillips]; banjo and fiddle player Ray Andrico (Portland, Oregon) [Songer].

Printed sources : - Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes, vol. 1), 1994; p. 170. Songer (Portland Collection), 1997; p. 149.

Recorded sources: -Gennett 6870 (78 RPM), Blue Ridge Mountaineers (1929). Morning Star 45005, Blue Ridge Mountaineers - "Way Down South in Dixie" (1980). Rounder 11661-0544-2, Harold Zimmerman - "Along the Ohio's Shores, vol. 1 - Fiddle Music Along a Great River." Yazoo 2200, Blue Ridge Mountaineers - "Kentucky Mountain Music: Classic Recordings of the 1920s & 1930s", disc 4.

See also listing at:
Hear the 1929 recording by the Blue Ridge Mountaineers on youtube.com [1]
Hear Fleming County, northeast Ky., fiddler Alfred Bailey's 1986 field recording by John Harrod at Berea Digital Archives [2]



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  1. Information from Gus Meade and John Harrod, as recorded by Richard Nevins in liner notes to Morning Star 45003, 1980. Meade and Harrod had tracked down Jarvie Hall in the mid-1970's and had the information directly from Jarvie and his wife.