Pike County Breakdown

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X:1 T:Pike County Breakdown C:Bill Monroe (?) M:4/4 L:1/8 R:Reel K:A A,B,CD EFAB|cdef =gbge|cBAc BAGB|c=c ^c4e2|...

PIKE COUNTY BREAKDOWN. American, Reel (cut time). A Major. Standard tuning (fiddle): gDGBD (banjo). The title refers to a county in the state of Kentucky. The tune is credited to Rupert Jones, although it is sometimes credited to Bill Monroe or Jones & Monroe. Writers Charles Wolfe and Neil Rosenberg, in their book "In Bluegrass 1950-1955" quote Bill Monroe: "I wanted to write something and title it after something up in the eastern part of Kentucky. You remember Sweet Betsy from the Pike? I listened to that and wrote the Pike County Breakdown." Monroe sometimes seems to have taken credit for tunes that were not strictly his own compositions, although he may have had a hand in adapting and popularizing them. "Pike County Breakdown" was recorded twice in 1952 and issued on single records; once by Bill Monroe, and again, in May of that year, by Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs & the Foggy Mountain Boys (Mercury Records 6396). The original may have sounded more like Sam Dyer's (Macon County, north-central Tenn.) version, before Monroe gave it a bluegrass treatment.

Additional notes

Source for notated version: -

Printed sources : -

Recorded sources: -Bear Family Records, Bill Monroe - "Bluegrass 1950-1958" (1990). County 2730, Rafe Stefanini – “Glory on the Big String.” Doxy Records, "The Complete Early Recordings Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs" (2015).

See also listing at:
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [1]
See Alan Munde's banjo tab [2]
Hear the tune played on mandolin/guitar by Jim and Bill Fuller (Buncombe County, N.C.) in 1965 at Berea Sound Archives [3]
Hear the tune played by Sam Dyer (born c. 1897, Macon County, north-central Tennessee) at Berea Sound Archives [4]

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