Spanish Fandango (1)
X:0 T: No Score C: The Traditional Tune Archive M: K: x
Worrall receives credit for popularizing the piece, but his was not the first such "Spanish Fandango" adaptation in America. An earlier "Spanish Fandango" arranged for guitar by W.B. Carter was published in Louisville in 1854 that corresponds in melody and character to Worrall's (some arrangement details differ). Carter's piece is in 6/8 time all the way through, but it, too, is in an "Open-G" tuning, just like Worrall's arrangement. Louisville is not far from Cincinnati (where Worrall was living at the time--its a mere 2 hours on modern highways, but both were Ohio River towns and fairly accessible to each other in the mid-19th century). It is possible there was some interchange between the two men, or perhaps both received the melody from a shared source).
Perhaps receiving impetus from Worrall's popular musical piece, and perhaps influenced from a variety of dance vectors (including, in the American west, from Mexico), fandango dance characteristics were incorporated along with elements of minstrelsy in two popular practices, the walk-around quadrille and the promenade to the bar. In the western United States there were 'fandango houses' where these performances graced the western dance house with a touch of theater. In the fandango house, the minstrel inspired walk-around quadrille seems to have been played at the end of a set of quadrilles, presumably so that the couples could promenade to the bar where it was necessary for the gentleman to treat the lady to refreshments. The “walkaround quadrille” became the “cake walk around quadrille” and then the “cake walk”.
A "folk-processed" "Spanish Fandango" was one of two sides (with “Cotton Patch Rag”) recorded in March, 1929, by Atlanta, Georgia, fireman and guitarist John “Seven foot Dilly” Dilleshaw, and released on OKeh records (two other pressings from the session were not released). Accompanying Dilleshaw's guitar on the recording were two other guitarists, Pink Lindsay and String Marvel. Dilleshaw learned the tune from Black guitarist Bill Turner, who taught a teenaged Dilleshaw to play the guitar when the latter was recuperating at his home in Hiram, Georgia, from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his foot (a hunting accident). However, substantially the same piece had been recorded as a guitar solo by Frank Hutchison in April, 1927 (released in September 1927, on OKeh 45121) under the title "Logan County Blues (2)." Bill Boyd's Cowboy Ramblers' 1939 version of "Spanish Fandango" (backed by "New Spanish Two Step") became the second best-selling country music recording for the year 1939.
- Charles Wolfe. “The Legend of John Dilleshaw”, Old Time Music, No. 36, Summer 1981, p. 13.