Ragged Ass Bill

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RAGGED ASS BILL. AKA – “Ragged Bill [2].” Old-Time, Breakdown or Schottische. USA, Missouri. B Flat Major (‘A’ part) & F Major (‘B’ part). Standard tuning (fiddle). AA’BB’. The title (as “Ragged Ass Bill”) appears in a list of traditional Ozarks Mountains fiddle tunes compiled by musicologist/folklorist Vance Randolph, published in 1954. The melody is in schottische form, with a characteristic key change. John Hartford says he does not know where the tune came from, but that Missouri fiddlers Gene Goforth and Roy Wooliver both played it. “The fine part is in one of the ‘Redbirds’,” said John, “of which there are several.” \

Source for notated version: Gene Goforth (1921-2002, High Ridge, near St. Louis, Mo.), learned from Roy Wooliver [Beisswenger & McCann].

Printed sources: Beisswenger & McCann (Ozarks Fiddle Music), 2008; p. 47.

Recorded sources: Rounder 0442, John Hartford – “Hamilton Ironworks” (2001. Appears as “Ragged Bill,” learned from Gene Goforth & Roy Wolliver). Rounder Records 0435, Gene Goforth - "Traditional Fiddle Music of the Ozarks: Along the Easter Crescent" (1999. Various artists).




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