Queen of Hearts Waltz
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QUEEN OF HEARTS WALTZ. Chad Miller writes that the late W.F. "Murph" Baker from Champion, New York, played this tune. Baker learned to fiddle as a young boy during the 1920's by listening to an older gentleman at the time named Leonard Harris fiddle at house parties (do's), and Harris and other fiddlers from Champion, Jefferson County, New York used to play a tune by this title. Miller has only heard fiddler's from that specific area of northern New York state play it. Mr. Miller communicated in December, 1999:
One other fiddler that I personally know of that used to play the "Queen of Hearts Waltz" is Roger Thesier of Fulton, NY (Oswego Co.). A recorded version of this played by Mr. Thesier is on an LP recording (NRS 108), 1980 New York State Old Tyme Fiddlers Association Picnic Volume IV. (Recorded 7/27/80 by the New England Recording and Sound, Duxbury, Vt). Murph learned the tune as a young boy while listening to the playing of Leonard E. Harris (1861-1946). He never knew the name of it until years later when Roger Thesier told him the name of it. Prior to this, Murph just called it "Harris No. 2 Waltz". According to Murph, Mr. Harris was one of the better fiddlers in Champion, NY at the time, and Murph's mother played piano accompaniment for Mr. Harris during these country dances (or "do's" as Murph called them). As a young boy, before he ever learned to play the fiddle, Murph would sit in the corner and fall asleep listening to the music of Mr. Harris at these dances. This is the manner in which Murph learned his first tunes. Due to the lack of modern transportation during these years, Murph referred to fiddlers outside of Champion as "foreign fiddlers". Jokingly, he always called fiddlers from Champion, NY "Champion" fiddlers due to their locale.
Mr. Baker taught me to play the fiddle. I began taking weekly lessons from him around 1979 when I was 9 yrs. old until his death in 1986. During the course of these years, Murph made many recordings for me, and listed all sorts of information pertaining to these various tunes. This is where I get the information that I have given to you.
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