Annotation:Sally Ann Johnson (1)

Find traditional instrumental music

X:1 T:Sally Ann Johnson S:Henry Reed (1967, Glen Lyn, Virginia) M:C| L:1/8 R:Reel D:Library of Congress AFS 13703B10 Z:Transcribed by Andrew Kuntz K:D (F[A2A2])[AA]- [A2A2][A2A2]|BABd ed3|{e}f3d e2d2|fded BdAG| (F[A2A2])[AA]- [A2A2][A2A2]|BABd e2d2|ffaf egfe|[D2d2]d2[D2d2]A2|| |:defg a4|b4 f3f|gfgf e2d2|fded B2A2| defg a4|b4 f3f|gfgf e2d2|fded BdAG||

SALLY ANN JOHNSON [1]. American, Reel (cut time). USA; Virginia, West Virginia. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB (Brody): AABB' (Phillips). The broad dissemination and widespread variants of this melodic tune family, both in America and Ireland point to a melodic theme of some age, appearing in print at least as far back as the first half of the 19th century. The name "Sally Ann Johnson" seems to be a regional Virginia/West Virginia one, however. The title is sometimes confused with "Sally Johnson (1)" ("Katy Hill" family), a different tune altogether but which is also sometimes called "Sally Ann Johnson." "Sally Ann Johnson" also bears no musical relation to the similarly-titled "Sally Ann" ("Great Big Taters") family of tunes. Alan Jabbour, in his notes to his source Henry Reed's (1884-1968, Glen Lyn, Virginia) version of the tune, remarks that Irish variants of go by the name "<incipit title="load:Bluehill" width=850 link=" of Bluehill (The)">Boys of Bluehill (The)</incipit>," "Freedom for Ireland" and the quadrille part "<incipit title="load:Nights" width=850 link=" of Gladness (5)">Nights of Gladness (5)</incipit>." Jabbour also says "Sally Ann Johnson" compares with Irish/Scottish "<incipit title="load:Banks" width=850 link=" of Inverness">Banks of Inverness</incipit>" and the American variants "Beaux of Oak Hill (1),<incipit title="load:Beaux" width=850 link=" of Oak Hill (1)">Beaux of Oak Hill (1)</incipit>" "Two Sisters (The)," and "<incipit title="load:Lonesome" width=850 link=" Katy">Lonesome Katy</incipit>." A cognate Blue Ridge tune is Taylor Kimble's "<incipit title="load:Ark" width=850 link=" Ark's a-Moving (The)">Old Ark's a-Moving (The)</incipit>". "Many printed sets are cast as hornpipes," notes Jabbour, "with the characteristic three eighth notes ending each strain. Henry Reed's tune has the feel of an American breakdown, but its circular structure for the melody leading from the second strain back to the first is unusual." [1] See also Ozarks Mountains fiddler Fred Stoneking's variant "Birdie in the Snowbank," and an untitled breakdown from African-American fiddler Bill Caton/Katon in R.P. Christeson's Old Time Fiddler's Repertory vol. 1 (1973, p. 74). This, coupled with Ira Ford's printing of "<incipit title="load:Lonesome" width=850 link=" Katy">Lonesome Katy</incipit>" in his 1940 Traditional Music in America suggest to Beisswenger and McCann (Ozarks Fiddle Music, 2008, p. 134) that tune tune strains have "a long history in the Midwest." See also Missouri fiddler Vesta Johnson's "<incipit title="load:Lady" width=850 link=" oughta been a Lady">She oughta been a Lady</incipit>."

According to Guthrie Meade, this piece was a favorite competition number for St. Albans, West Virginia, fiddler Clark Kessinger (1896-1975) at fiddlers' contests. Kessinger played the tune at the Newport Folk Festival in 1966, and recorded it for LP's in the 1960's but seems not to have recorded it earlier in his early career. The Kessinger Brothers (Clark and his nephew Luches on guitar) did record the similarly-titled "Sally Johnson" ("Katy Hill" tune family) for Brunswick records (issued as Melotone M12161) although they were identified as The Wright Brothers on the label.

See also the similarly titled "Sally Johnson (1)," popularized, for example, by Fiddlin Arthur Smith. The similarity in the names of the tunes has been the source for confusion.

Additional notes

Sources for notated versions: - Ray Bierl (California) [Phillips]; Sally & John White (Scio, Oregon) [Songer].

Printed sources : - Brody (Fiddler’s Fakebook), 1983; p. 245. Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes, vol. 1), 1994; p. 209. Songer (Portland Collection), 1997; p. 173.

Recorded sources: - County 733, "The Legend of Clark Kessinger" (1996). Folkways FA 2336, Clark Kessinger - "Old-Time Country Music" (1966). Folkways 31062, Ship in the Clouds - "Old Time Instrumental Music" (1978. Learned from fiddler Henry Reed, 1884-1968, Glen Lyn, Giles County, Virginia). Library of Congress AFS 13703B10, Henry Reed (1967). Victor 19372 (78 RPM), A.C. Robertson (1922). Jabbour, Thompson, and Bradley - "Sandy's Fancy."

See also listing at:
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index of Recorded Sources [1]
Hear Alan Jabbours 1967 recording of Henry Reed playing "Sally Ann Johnson" at Slippery Hill [2] and at the L.O.C [3]
See Lisa Ornstein's standard notation transcription of Henry Reed's version [4]

Back to Sally Ann Johnson (1)

X:1 M:C| L:1/8 K:D F-A2B A2AA|BABd e2d2|f2 af e2fe|dBA2Bd A2|

X:1 M:C| L:1/8 K:D |:FG|A2 AB AGF2|AB dc d2de| f2a2 f2 fe|defd B2dB|

X:1 M:2/4 L:1/8 K:D A/G/F/G/ AA|B/A/B/c/ ed|f/g/a/f/ ef|d/f/e/d/ BA|

X:1 M:C| L:1/8 K:D A3B A2F2 | A2B2d2e2 | f2a2e2f2 | d2B2B2d2 |

X:1 M:2/4 L:1/8 K:D (d/B/)|A/F/D/F/ .A(d/c/)|B/A/B/d/ .e(d/e/)|f/g/f/e/ f/g/f/e/|d/e/f/d/ .B(d/B/)|

X:1 M:2/4 L:1/16 K:D (FG)|BAFA D2(FA)|BABd e2(de)|faaf egfe|dfed B2(dB)|

X:1 M:2/4 L:1/8 K:G O(D>E) DB,|(D>E) (GA)|(Bd) (AB/A/)|(GE) (3EGE|