Pike's Peak

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X:1 T:Pike's Peak M:4/4 L:1/8 K:C GAcG AcGA|cAGc A c3|e g2 a gece|G2 gf ge d2| G2 cG AcGA|cAGc A G3|g2 ga gedc| AGAB c4|| GAcG AcGA|cAGc A c3|e g2 a gece|gfga ge d2| G2 cG AcGA| cGAG E G3|gfga gedc| A3 B c2 c2|| |:e3 e gege|a3 g e4|c3 d c4|a4 a4| {e}agab ag e2|c'4 c'4|d'c'c'd' c'4|{e }gega gedB|c4 c4:|]



PIKE'S PEAK. AKA and see "Prosperity Special," "Rat Cheese Under the Hill." American, Breakdown. USA; Arkansas, Texas. C Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Silberberg): AABB (Johnson, Phillips, Songer). Recorded under the title "Pike's Peak" in 1933 by fiddler Ted Sharp and his band, whom Richard Nevins (1972) suggests came from central-eastern Arkansas. It had previously been recorded in 1930 by Clark and Luches Kessinger under the title “Rat Cheese Under the Hill” (a corruption of the tune name “Natchez Under the Hill,” although that title usually refers to a version of the venerable "Turkey on the Straw"). According to Paul Mitchell, both Ted Sharp and Clark Kessinger went into position playing on the violin for parts of the tune.

The "Prosperity Special" name for the tune comes from Texas fiddler and band leader Bob Wills' 1938 recording (later recorded by Clarence "Tater" Tate under that title). The title commemorates a unique event early in the 1920's. The Prosperity Special was a train, but a train made up entirely of locomotives. Early in 1921 during a post-war recession, the West Coast based Southern Pacific Co. placed an order for fifty heavy duty locomotives with the Baldwin Locomotive Works in Pennsylvania. It was a leap of faith in a poor economy, but the unprecedented order helped stir optimism and faith that the American worker would prevail. The locomotives were completed in 1922, and in May of that year half the locomotives (24) were shipped in an almost half-mile long train in a southern route to California. The event was heavily promoted. A large sign on the lead locomotive read "The Prosperity Special."
The Prosperity Special


Additional notes



Printed sources : - Beisswenger & McCann (Ozarks Fiddle Music), 2008; p. 201. Johnson (Kitchen Musician No. 2: Old-Timey Fiddle Tunes), 1982 (revised 1988 & 2003); p. 12. Orme (Herman Johnson Master Fiddler: 39 Solos), 1999. Phillips (Fiddle Case Tunebook: Old Time Southern), 1989; p. 33. Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes, vol. 1), 1994; p. 184. Silberberg (Fiddle Tunes I Learned at the Tractor Tavern), 2002; p. 120. Songer (Portland Collection), 1997; p. 160.

Recorded sources : - Brunswick 458 (78 RPM), The Kessinger Brothers (1930). County 507, Ted Sharp – "Old-Time Fiddle Classics, vol. 2" (1973). County Records 531, Sharp, Hinman & Sharp – "Old Time String Band Classics" (1975. Various artits). Document DOCD , "The Kessinger Brothers: Complete Recordings in Chronological Order, 1929" (1997). Folk Legacy 76, Ron Kane & Skip Gorman – “Powder River” (1993). Yazoo 2067, Sharp, Hinman & Sharp – "Times Ain't Like They Used to be Vol. 7: Early American Rural Music Classic Recordings of 1920'S and 1930's" (2003. Various artists).

See also listing at :
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [1]
Hear Ted Sharp's recording at Slippery Hill [2] [3]
Hear Clark Kessinger's "Rat Cheese" at Slippery Hill [4] [5]



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