Robinson County

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X:1 % T:Robinson County M:C L:1/8 R:Reel S:Bruce Molsky N:From a transcription by John Lamancusa, by permission Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:D FG|:A2f2 fgfe|dABd BAFG|A2f2 fg f2|e3f edcB| A2 fA fgfe|dABd BAFG|AGFD E2E2|1 D3E D2FG:|2 D3E D2dB|| |:A2F2 EFAB|AFEF D2(A2|A)BAF ED F2|A3B A2dB| A2F2 EFAB|AFEF D2(A2|A)BAF EDEF|1 D3E D2dB:|2 D3E D4|| %see http://www.mne.psu.edu/lamancusa/tunes.htm



ROBINSON COUNTY. AKA – “Robertson.” Old-Time, Breakdown. USA, central Arkansas. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. There are genealogical and historical references to Robinson Counties that exist or once existed in various southern states. When Bob Palasek traced them he found that the name Robinson had been mistakenly substituted for the correct name of Robertson or Robeson (there is, for example a Robeson County in North Carolina). There is a story circulating (albeit without verification) that the name of the tune derives from an early 20th century scheme for five western counties to secede from the state of Virginia and to call themselves Robinson County. One of those involved in the plot was said to have written this tune. A close variant is “New Five Cents (1).” See also related tune “Ruffled Drawers.” Uncle Dave Macon used the low part of the tune for his song “Country Ham.” The tune was recorded in 1931 by Iiton Birkhead and Albert Ward in 1931. Birkhead was born in Arkansas in 1865 and Ward in 1874, and it appears that Birkhead was the principal fiddler on the recording; they played the second strain an octave apart. Ted Sharp, Hinman & Sharp’s version (called “Hell Among the Yearlings”), also recorded in the 1930’s, differs slightly.

Additional notes

Source for notated version: - Ted Sharp [Phillips]; Iiton O. Birkhead & Albert E. Ward (Arkansas) [Beisswenger & McCann].

Printed sources : - Beisswenger & McCann (Ozarks Fiddle Music), 2008; p. 172. Jane Keefer (Old Time Stringband Workshop for Fiddle), 2011; p 40. Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes, vol. 1), 1994; p. 200.

Recorded sources: - Columbia 15757-D, Birkhead & Ward (1931). County 531, Ted Sharp - "Old Time String Band Classics" (1975). County CD-3507, Iiton O. Birkhead & Albert Ward – “Echoes of the Ozarks, vol. 2” (1995. Various artists). Dust-to-Digital ‎DTD-36, Birkhead & Ward - "Arkansas at 78 RPM: Corn Dodgers & Hoss Hair Pullers" (2014). Field Recorder Collective FRC 409, Sam Welch and Family - "Texas Fiddle Bands" (2008). Heritage 060, Major Contay & the Canebreak Rattlers - "Music of the Ozarks" (Brandywine 1984). Marimac 9017, Vesta Johnson (Mo.) - "Down Home Rag." Yodel-ay-hee Records #108327, Critton Hollow Stringband - "Poor Boy" (1979).

See also listing at:
Jane Keefer’s Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [1]
Hear Birkhead & Ward's 1931 recording on youtube.com [2]



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