Shaker Ben

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X:1 T:Shaker Ben S:Jim Booker via John Masters (1904-1986, Lexington, Fayette County, central Ky.) M:C| L:1/8 Q:"Quick" N:Field recording by John Harrod c. 1975 F:https://www.slippery-hill.com/recording/shaker-ben N:https://soundarchives.berea.edu/items/show/3458 Z:Transcribed by Andrew Kuntz R:Reel K:G d3c||B2G4G2|c2c2efg2|([G3B3]A)G2AB|cBAG FGAc| BG2G G2G2|cBcd efg2|fage dcBA|[G3B3][GA][G2B2]dc| BG2G G2G2|cBcd ef g2|[G4B4]G2AB|cBAG FGAc| BG[GB][GB][G2B2][G2B2]|cBcd efg2|fage dcBA|[G3B3][GB][G2B2]|| (B2|d2)g2d2g2|d2g2gbag |fga2 fga2|agab agfe| (dB)g2d2g2|d2g2 gbag|fgag fedc|+slide+[G3B3][GA][G2B2]dc||



SHAKER BEN. American, Reel (cut time). USA, central Kentucky. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AA'B or AABB. The tune was recorded for Gennett Records in Richmond, Indiana, in 1933 by a band called The Walter Family, originally from Jessamine County, Kentucky, but transplanted to Richmond since 1919. At the time of the recording (which was released on Gennett's subsidiary label, Champion Records) the personnel were Draper Walter (fiddle), his daughter Mary (piano), son-in-law Ray Agee (banjo), Charlie Estes (guitar), Charlie Burdette (jug) and son Wilburn (washboard). The "Shaker Ben" name derives, according to Guthrie Meade and Richard Nevins[1] from a Shaker community located in Pleasant Hill, just west of Jessamine. Jeff Titon (2001) notes that Shaker Bend is a place name in the Kentucky River below Shakertown. The title has also been collected from Anderson County, Kentucky, and was played by Jessamine County fiddler Jim Booker, a contemporary and friend of Walter Draper's who was also originally from the Camp Nelson, Kentucky, area.
Draper Walter, c. 1933

Additional notes

Source for notated version: - Draper Walter (1870-1955) and Mel Marshall [Phillips]; John Masters (1904-1986, Lexington, Fayette County, Ky., c. mid-1970’s) [Titon].

Printed sources : - Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes, vol. 1), 1994; p. 216. Titon (Old Time Kentucky Fiddle Tunes), 2001; No. 148, p. 174.

Recorded sources: -Champion S-16653 (78 RPM), The Walter Family (1933). Dr. Dosido Records DDCD-112, The Walter Family - "Indiana Fiddle Bands: Old-Time Dance Music, vol. 1- 1928-1933." Morning Star 45005, Walter Family - "Way Down South in Dixie."

See also listing at:
Hear the Walter Family's 1933 recording at youtube.com [1]
Hear John Master's field recording at Slippery Hill [2] and at Berea Sound Archives [3]
Hear Everett Kays' 1978 field recording by John Harrod at Berea Sound Archives [4]



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  1. Liner notes to Morning Star 45003, 1980.