Red Steer

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X: 1 T: Red Steer S: John Dykes Red Steer.mp3 - Jeff Goehring R: reel Z: 2012 John Chambers <jc:trillian.mit.edu> M: 2/4 L: 1/16 F:http://www.john-chambers.us/~jc/music/abc/reel/Red_Steer_A.abc K: A [|\ e2a2 abaf | e2a2 a2cd | e2a2 abaf | e2c2 B2A2 | A2a2 a2a2 | b2a2 a2f2 | e2a2 abaf | e2c2 B2A2 |] [|\ c2c2 d2fd | ec2c B2B2 | ABcc defd | e2c2 B2A2 | c2c2 d2fd | ec2c B2B2 | Ac2c defd | e2c2 B2Ac |] [|\ e2c2 e2c2 | e2c2 B2Bc | e2c2 e2c2 | e2c2 B2Ac | e2c2 d2f2 | ec2c B2cB | ABcd efec | e2c2 B2A2 |]



RED STEER. AKA and see "Brown's Dream (1),” “John Brown's Dream." American, Reel (cut time). A Major. GDgd or AEae tuning (fiddle). The "Red Steer" version of the tune is sourced to the playing of fiddler John Dykes (c.1882- 1940's?) , of the Kingsport, northeast Tennessee, area (on the border with Virginia), leader of the Dykes Magic City trio, which also included Myrtle Vermillion on autoharp and Hub Mahaffey on guitar (with vocals sometimes later supplied by Dykes' brother-in-law, Dock Boggs). Kingsport at the time was boosting itself as “the magic city” because of it’s progressiveness. An article in the Kingsport Times on February 18th, 1927, reported “The Kingsport Trio, known as John R. Dykes’ string band…were introduced by Kiwanian T.R. Bandy [who] announced that this trio had been selected out of a group of 50 such organizations by the Brunswick Phonograph Company, of New York, to make records.”

The trio recorded "Red Steer" in New York in March, 1927, for Brunswick records, although the 78 was not released until January of the following year ("Red Steer" was backed with "Callahan's Reel"). The reel is a member of the “John Brown’s Dream” family of tunes and is a tune associated with another fiddler, Fiddlin' Cowan Powers (1879-1953), who was active in the teens and twenties in the same southwestern Virginia/northeast Tennessee area, who had recorded it in 1924 (as "Brown's Dream (1)"). Richard Blaustein sees similarities in the first strain with Dykes's “Callahan Reel” and a tune called “Boatman”; and in the second strain with “Paddy Won't You Drink Some Good Old Cider.”
Dykes' Magic City Trio


See note for "John Brown's Dream" for more information on this large tune family.


Additional notes



Printed sources : - Clare Milliner & Walt Koken (Milliner-Koken Collection of American Fiddle Tunes), 2011; p. 536.

Recorded sources : - British Archive of Country Music BACM 280, "Dykes Magic City Trio: Complete Recordings." Old Homestead OHCS 191, "Dykes Magic City Trio" (Eastern Tenn.) {originally recorded on a Vocalion (Brunswick) 78, 1928}. Vocalion 5181 (78 RPM), Dykes Magic City Trio (1928).

See also listing at :
Hear the Dykes' Magic City Trio's 1927 recording on youtube.com [1] and at Slippery Hill [2] and Honking Duck [3]



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