Pig Ankle Rag (1)

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PIG ANKLE RAG [1]. American, Country Rag. USA. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Silberberg): AABB (Brody, Phillips). The first strain of the tune is based on a ragtime piece called "Pig Ankles," composed by M.E. Williams and published in 1905 (described as "A Grotesque Intermezzo").
Pigankles.jpg

As "Pig Ankle Strut," it was recorded in the 78 RPM era by Gus Cannon's Jug Stompers (1928), the most famous of the Memphis Jug Bands. "Pig Ankle Rag" was popularized by Disney, Oklahoma, fiddler Uncle Dick Hutchinson and fiddler Ron Hughey (1914-1974), and seems to have enjoyed some regional popularity in the Ozarks in the mid-20th century (see also the variant "Pig Ankle Blues"). Hughey was originally from Missouri, but lived in California where he came in contact with the Sweets Mills group of musicians (Kenny Hall, Frank Hicks et al). It was also in the repertory of Grand Ole Opry stalwart guitarist Sam McGee (d. 1975), who said he had learned it from Slim Smith.


Additional notes
Source for notated version : - Bob Potts & Walt Koken with the Highwoods String Band (Ithaca, N.Y.), who learned the tune from Joel Shimberg & Ron Hughey [Phillips]. Shimberg himself has said he learned the tune from Uncle Dick Hutchinson.

Printed sources : - Brody (Fiddler’s Fakebook), 1983; p. 217. Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes, vol. 2), 1995; p. 100. Silberberg (Tunes I Learned at Tractor Tavern), 2002; p. 119.

Recorded sources : - American Heritage AH401 511, Ron Hughey - "Country Fiddlin' Ozark Style" (1974). Arhoolie CD 9009, Sam McGee - "Grand Dad of the Country Guitar Pickers." Rounder 0074, Highwoods String Band - "No. 3 Special" (1976). Rounder CD 11569, Highwoods String Band - "Feed Your Babies Onions." Yodel-ay-hee Records #002, Critton Hollow Stringband - "Sweet Home" (1983).

See also listing at :
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [1]
Hear Uncle Dick Hutchinson's recording at Slippery Hill [2][3]
Hear Ron Hughey's recording at Slippery Hill [4][5]
Hear Cannon's Jug Stompers 1928 "Pig Ankle Strut" on youtube.com [6][7]
See a standard notation transcription by Kat Bula [8]



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