Saturday Night Rag

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X:1 T:Saturday Night Rag S:Lonnie Robertson M:C| L:1/8 D:Caney Mountain CEP 213, Lonnie Robertson (c. 1960's) F: Z:Transcribed by Andrew Kuntz K:G [E2B2]ef edBA|[E2B2]ef edBG|E2 AB AGED|E2 AB AGFE| D2fe f4|defd edBA|BBgB BaBB|bb b2 a2g2| B2 ef e2BA|B2 ef edBG|E2 AB AGED|E2 AB AGFE| D2fe f4|defd edBA|g2e2 dcBA|G4G4|| K:C e2d2c3d|edcA ce2(d|c2)A2G2GA|cG A2G2A2-| B)G A2 G2GA|BG AG2B-|cGA2 G2 GA|cGA2G2ef| e2d2c3d|edcA ce2(d|c2)A2G2GA|cG A2G2A2-| B)G A2 G2GA|BG AG2B-|cGAG ECD2|C8||

SATURDAY NIGHT RAG. American, Country Rag (cut time). USA; Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. The tune was first recorded by the Fort Worth, Texas, based group the Light Crust Doughboys for Vocalion Records in 1934, featuring the fiddle of Butler County, Kentucky, native Clifford "Doc" Gross (1898-1956), to whom the tune is attributed. Gross, who perfected his fiddling playing at old roadhouses along the Green River, had moved to Texas to join his distant cousins in a band called the Hi-Flyers, and then floated in a few bands in the 1930's including his own short-lived Kentucky Hillbillies, who played over KTAT in 1933. He joined the Doughboys in 1933, and played lead fiddle on their first recordings, remaining with the band until the late 1930's [1]. A few years after the Doughboys's release the tune was recorded by another Texas group, Bill Boyd's Cowboy Ramblers in a blazingly fast version by fiddler Jesse Ashlock (learned directly from Clifford Gross [2]. Both groups were transitional ones from old-time string band to western swing. They recorded prolifically and appeared in a half-dozen 'B' westerns in the 1940's.

Clifford Gross

Additional notes

Source for notated version: -

Printed sources : -

Recorded sources: -Acrobat ACRCD132, Bill Boyd's Cowboy Ramblers - "Saturday Night Rag, vol. 1 1934-1936" (2003). Bluebird B-6599 (78 RPM), Bill Boyd's Cowboy Ramblers (1936). Bluebird AXM2 5503, "Bill Boyd's Cowboy Rambers" (1975. Originally recorded 1936). Caney Mountain Records CEP 212 (privately issued extended play LP), Lonnie Robertson (Mo.) and the Cane Mountain Boys - "Favorite Fiddle Tunes" (c. 1965-66). Vocalion 02842-B (78 RPM), W. Lee O'Daniel and his Light Crust Doughboys (1924).

See also listing at:
Hear Lonnie Roberston's (Missouri) 1960's recording on [1]
Hear Chris Delaney's field recording of the tune played by Burrell Reed (Oklahoma) at Slippery Hill [2]

Back to Saturday Night Rag

  1. Charles Wolfe, Kentucky Country, 1982, pp. 89-90.
  2. Bob Pinson, Country Music Foundation, Nashville, in liner notes to RCA "Bill Boyd's Cowboy Rambers"