Rachel (1)

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X:1 T:Rachel [1] M:2/4 L:1/8 S:Christeson – Old Time Fiddler’s Repertory, vol. 2 K:D F/E/|D/F/A/d/ f/d/A/F/|G/A/B/d/ g(3B/c/B/|A/c/e/^g/ a/e/c/A/|B/c/d/B/ A/F/E/C/| D/F/A/c/ d/A/F/D/|G/A/B/d/ g(3g/a/g/|e/c/e/^g/ a/e/c/A/|[df][d/f/][d/e/] [df]:| |:a/g/|f/d/e/f/ g/b/a/g/|f/d/f/g/ aa/a/|A/c/e/f/ g/a/g/f/|e/c/e/^g/ aa/=g/| f/d/e/f/ g/e/a/g/|f/d/f/g/ ab|A/c/e/f/ g/e/a/g/|f/d/e/c/ d:|



RACHEL [1]. AKA and see "St. Louis Quickstep." American, Reel (2/4 or cut time). USA; Missouri, West Virginia, North Carolina, Virginia. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Silberberg): AABB (Christeson): AA'BB' (Phillips). “Rachael/Rachel” was part of the fiddle/clawhammer banjo "band" repertory in Patrick County, southwestern Va., according to Tom Carter and Blanton Owen (1976), and was also in the repertory of Braxton County, West Virginia, fiddler Melvin Wine (1901-2003). Frank Maloy remembers Tommy Magness playing the tune in the 1940's over WSM, and a 78 RPM version was recorded by fiddler Tommy Jackson, both of which did much to popularize the melody so that it has wide currency in the South. “Rachel” is frequently heard in informal Missouri jam sessions (Maloy), and it is played by influential fiddlers from that state such as central Missouri fiddlers Taylor McBaine and Charlie Walden (Beisswenger).

There is great similarity with “Texas Quickstep (1),” to the point that the only differences in some versions are the reversal of parts from each other (see note for that tune). In addition to “St. Louis Quickstep,” Beisswenger (2008) also reports links with West Virginia fiddler Sam Hacker’s “California Quickstep” and Kentucky fiddler Buddy Thomas’s “Short's Addition.” Gary Harrison finds Illinois versions under the titles “Gypsies in the Wood” and “Little Rock,” while Jeff Titon remarks that a similar Kentucky tune is “Smokey Hornpipe.” Still other melodies that bear resemblance to “Rachel” are James “Skeeter” Walden’s “Tom Hickey” (Beisswenger), “Cowboys Dream (1) (The)” (Meade), and the first strain of “Old Homestead (The)” (Jarman).

The title “Rachael” or “Rachael’s Hornpipe,” has been attributed to Rachael Jackson, wife of President Andrew Jackson, according to the Texas Old Time Fiddling Association’s website [1]. There is no corroborating evidence for this assertion and it is purely conjectural.


Additional notes
Source for notated version : - J.T. Perkins [Phillips]; Benton Flippen (Surry County, N.C.) via Jody Stecher [Fiddler Magazine]; Ruth Hawkins (b. 1923, Neosho, Mo.) [Beisswenger & McCann].

Printed sources : - Beisswenger & McCann (Ozarks Fiddle Music), 2008; p. 188. R.P. Christeson (Old Time Fiddlers Repertory, vol. 2), 1984; p. 58. Fiddler Magazine, Winter 2008/09, vol. 15, No. 4; p. 10. Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes, vol. 1), 1994; p. 193. Silberberg (Tunes I Learned at Tractor Tavern), 2002; p. 124.

Recorded sources : - Missouri State Old Time Fiddlers Association 002, Taylor McBaine - "Boone County Fiddler." Rounder CD 0436, Ruth Hawkins – “Traditional Fiddle Music of the Ozarks, vol. 2” (2000. Various artists).

See also listing at :
See/hear a video of Melvin Wine and Gerry Milne play the tune at a Berea College at Berea Sound Archives [2]



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