Annotation:Sandy River Belle (2)

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X:1 T:Sandy River Belle [2] S:Clarice Blackard Shelor (piano) & either Jesse or Pyrhus Shelor, fiddle. N:Recorded by Ray Alden M:C| L:1/8 F: Z:Transcribed by Andrew Kuntz K:G g2 ge d2 ga|babg agef|gage dege|a2 ab a4| [B2g2]ge d2 ga|babg agef|gage dB2B|AGA2 G4:| |:D2G2+slide+[G4B4]-|[G2B2] (A<B) e2d2| D2G2 {A}[G3B3]B|AGEA GE D2| D2G2+slide+[G3B3]B|AGAB e2d2|g2ed BG2G|BGAE G4:|]

SANDY RIVER BELLE [2]. AKA and see "Stoney Ridge Stomp," "Tugboat and Pineywoods." Old Time, Breakdown. USA; W.Va., Virginia. G Major (Brody, Kaufman, Krassen, Phillips, Songer, Spadaro): A Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB (most versions): AA'BB' (Phillips). "A fairly common tune in the Galax area" (Krassen, 1973). Ken Perlman (1979) states the tune comes from the region around the small Blue Ridge foothills town of Meadows of Dan, Patrick County, Virginia. Tom Carter and Blanton Owen (1976) state that "Sandy River Belles" is so frequently played in Patrick County that it could be considered an old time anthem for the area. Its popularity, they say, extends north through Franklin and Floyd Counties and into West Virginia. It was originally recorded for Victor Records in Bristol, Tennessee, by Ralph Peer from the playing of the Blue Ridge group Dad Blackard's Moonshiners in August, 1927, a family group consisting of banjo player Joseph J.B. "Dad" Blackard, fiddlers Jesse (b. 1894) and Pyrhis Shelor, and pianist Clarice Blackard Shelor (b. 1900; the group was also called The Shelor Family band). The group recorded four sides that day, and several months later were invited to return for another recording session; however, by that time J.C. Blackard's health had been ravaged by cancer and he was too ill to make the trip, and so they declined, opting for a rich musical life playing with extended family members, neighbors and friends. The phrasing of the 'A' part is different in various versions, with some beginning the downbeat of phrase on what are the introductory notes of other versions. "Sandy River Belle" has been widely disseminated since the later 20th century "revival" of interest in old-time music.

There are simple words set to the tune. According to Clarice Blackard Shelor, the group played the tune as an instrumental until Victor recordists asked them to put words to it. Dad Blackard came up with them nearly on-the-spot.

Sandy River Belle, going to leave you, .... (x3)
Going away to leave you now. ... (From the Moonshiners and the Hillbillies recordings)

A couplet was collected by English song-collector Cecil Sharp during his trip to the Appalachians in 1918, from informant Lucy Cannady of Endicott, Virginia. She sang (to the fine strain):

Sandy River bells keep jingling, jingling ... (x3) I've got no use for Sandy River Bells.

The song has been codified as Loud 16603. Northwest of the Blackard/Shelor family, on the other side of the Blue Ridge, Princeton, W.Va. fiddler Oscar Wright played the a version of the tune under the title "Stony Ridge Stomp," named for a prominent mountain ridge in Mercer County W.Va., that runs between Bluefield and Princeton. A cognate tune was recorded by Dad Massey and His Family, from near Roswell, New Mexico, as part of a medley called "Tugboat and Pineywoods," a title that led Jabbour to conjecture that "Sandy River Belle" might have been the name of a boat, for steamboats often bore such names. Burnett and Rutherford's "Ladies on the Steamboat" is a similar and perhaps related tune.

Additional notes

Sources for notated versions: - Frank George & Henry Reed (W.Va. & Va.) [Krassen]; St. Regis String Band (N.Y.) [Spadaro]; Buddy Pendleton [Phillips]; Barry Schultz [Silberberg].

Printed sources : - Brody (Fiddler’s Fakebook), 1983; p. 250. Kaufman (Beginning Old Time Fiddle), 1977; p. 52. Krassen (Appalachian Fiddle), 1973; p. 64 (Krassen's version has the A and B parts reversed from Brody's version). Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes, vol. 1), 1994; p. 215. Silberberg (Tunes I Learned at Tractor Tavern), 2002; p. 140. Songer (Portland Collection), 1997; p. 174. Spadaro (10 Cents a Dance), 1980; p. 29.

Recorded sources: - County 504, Dad Blackard's Moonshiners "Mountain Songs." County 705, Buddy Pendleton "Virginia Breakdown" (learned from his great uncle, Dad Blackard, who recorded it in 1927). Green Linnet GLCD 3127, Sharon Shannon – “The Best of Sharon Shannon: Spellbound” (1999). Folk Legacy FSI 38, "Sarah Grey with Ed Trickett" (1970). Heritage XXII, "Eight Miles Apart: Old Time Music from Patrick and Carroll County, Virginia" (1979). Rounder 0024, "Hollow Rock String Band." Rounder 0057, Doc Williams "Old Originals, Vol. 1" (1978). Spudchucker Productions, Bert Edwards (N.C.), "Bert's Bombaree." Victor 21130 (78 RPM), Dad Blackard's Moonshiners (1927). Ruthie Dornfeld - “Egyptian Dominoes.”

See also listing at:
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [1]
See Alan Jabbour's 1966 standard notation transcription of Sandy River Belle as an unnamed tune from the play of Glen Lynn, Va., fiddler Henry Reed [2]
Hear Dad Blackard's Moonshiner's 1927 recording on [3] and at Old Town School of Folk Music Fiddle Tune Archive [4]
Read Ray Alden's article on the Blackard and Shelor families at Field Recorders Collective [5]]
Hear Ray Alden's recording of Clarice Blackard Shelor and either Jesse or brother Pyrhus playing fiddle [6]

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