Sweet Milk and Peaches

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X:1 T:Sweet Milk and Peaches S:Willie Narmour (1889-1961) and Shellie Smith (1895-1968) (Carroll County, Mississippi) M:C| L:1/8 R:Reel N:Parts are played at will on the recording: sometimes doubled, sometime not, N:sometimes only the first four bars are played before going on to the next part. D:OKeh 45424 (78 RPM), Narmour & Smith (1929) D:Bluebird B-5616 (78 RPM), Narmour & Smith (1934) F:https://www.slippery-hill.com/recording/sweet-milk-peaches Z:Transcribed by Andrew Kuntz K:D [Af]-[A3a3] afde-|f2 aa b2a2|aab(e fe)d(e|fe)Bd ed3| (fa2a) a2 de|ffaa b2a2|+slide+d'4d'2 aa| f-edd e(dBd)|e2d2|| +slide+[A3A3](A Bc)d(d|BA)FD E D3|FAA(B AB)dg|fdd2 e2d2| +slide+[A3A3](A Bc)d(d|BA)FD E2 D2|+slide+F3E D2B,2|{G,}A,A,B,2 ED3| [EA]-[F2A2]E D2+slide+[D2D2]-|[DD]DFD E2 D4|[D2D2]FD EDB,B,|A,B,DF ED3|]



SWEET MILK AND PEACHES. AKA and see "Peaches and Cream," "Sweet Cream and Peaches." American, Reel (cut time). USA; Mississippi, Alabama. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AA'BB'C. A tune by this name was played by Rock Ridge, Alabama, fiddlers around 1920 (Bailey), so the tune may not have been original with Mississippi fiddle Willie Narmour. Mississippi fiddling expert Harry Bolick traces one version of the tune to an African-American fiddler named Alan Alsop, who lived a few miles from Narmour, and who was recorded in 1936. The reel was originally recorded by Narmour and his playing partner, Shellie Smith (1895-1968), for Okeh Records in 1929. The popular duo recorded for Okeh from 1928 until the collapse of the company in the early 1930's, then were signed with Victor Records in 1934. While with Victor they re-recorded sixteen of their most popular tunes, including "Sweet Milk and Peaches"; thus the reel by Narmour and Smith appears on both OKeh recordings (recorded in New York in Sept., 1929) and Victor recordings (1934, released on Victor's subsidiary label, Bluebird Records). The 1934 recording has a more relaxed tempo and the parts are more regular.

R.P. Christeson included his own take on the reel in is second collection fiddle tunes collected in Missouri [1], calling it "Peaches and Cream"; it is recognizably cognate with Narmour and Smith's reel, but altered by time and distance. See also Indiana fiddler John Summer's version of the tune as "Sweet Cream and Peaches." Bluegrass fiddler Chubby Wise recorded a "Sweet Milk and Peaches" in 1977 but it is a different tune. The title "Sweet Milk and Peaches" appears on only one of the 1915 Berea (East Kentucky) tune lists of Prof. John F. Smith, from a project with his students.


Additional notes
Source for notated version : - c. 1930’s recording of fiddler Willie Narmour (1889-1961, Carroll County, Mississippi) [Phillips].

Printed sources : - Bolick & Austin (Mississippi Fiddle Tunes and Songs from the 1930's), 2015; p. Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes, vol. 1), 1994; p. 236.

Recorded sources : - Bluebird B-5616 (78 RPM), Narmour & Smith (1934). County 3513 CD, Narmour & Smith - "Mississippi String Bands, vol. 1" (1998. Various artists). OKeh 45424 (78 RPM), Narmour & Smith (1929). Rafe Stefanini & David Bragger - "Holy Smoke" (2018).

See also listing at :
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [1]
Hear Narmour & Smith's 1929 recording at Slippery Hill [2] and at youtube [3]
See/hear Harry Bolick's slow-paced versionssourced to Alan Alsop at youtube.com [4] [5]



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  1. R.P. Christeson, Old Time Fiddlers Repertory, vol. 2, 1984, No. 82.