Annotation:Terrell Texas Blues

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X:1 T:Terrell Texas Blues S:Doc & Oscar Harper ( Texas) M:C| L:1/8 R:Country Rag/Blues D:County 517, "Texas Old Time String Bands" D: OKeh 45420, Doc & Oscar Harper (1929) F: Z:Transcribed by Andrew Kuntz K:C (A,B,|C)DEG Ac3|agec ag3|defa fd3|ageg ag3| CDEG Ac3|agcd cde2-|edcA cd3|1[E6c6]:|2[M:2/4][E4c4]|| [M:C|]c'2c'2- c'a g2 |a2a2- agec |[e4e4][e3g3]a-|agea gecA| GAcd eg2e|aged cde[ee]-|[ee]dcA cd3|1[M:2/4][E4c4]:|2[M:C|][E6c6]|| g2-|gdea gdea|gdea gded|cGAd cGAd|cGAc- cdea| gdea gdea|gded c4|[d4^f4] [d=f]- [d3^f3]|[d6^f6]a2| gdea gdea|gdea gded|cGAd cGFd|cGAc- c4 | GAcd edeg- |gege aged |cGGe- ecd2|[E6c6]|| |:G2|cdea- agec|d4 A3G|ABce- edcG|[E4c4][E4c4]| AGAc dcde-|edea- agec|1d2a ^fdfa|g6:|2 e2d F[F3d3]|[E6c6]||

TERRELL TEXAS BLUES. American, Country Rag (cut time). C Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABBCDD'. The tune is sourced to the playing of fiddler Oscar Harper, who recorded it in Dallas, Texas, in November, 1929, accompanied by his nephew Doc Harper on guitar. They performed on local radio stations and venues, often in blackface, with their neighboring fiddler, Prince Albert Hunt, who, like the Harpers, was an OKeh Records recording artist. All hailed from the town of Terrell, east Texas, due east of Dallas. According to a cousin-once-removed of Prince Albert's, Budford Hunt, Oscar Harper would play the waltzes, while Prince Albert would front the breakdowns. H.E. Harper, Doc Harper's son, recalled:

My father grew up, seconding him on the guitar, after my grandfather. And later on, why, he and my uncle would play at different dances. It was usually an occasion of some kind they would have a dance. Get the word out to all the neighborhoods they was going to have a dance on a certain night, and they’d furnish the musicians for everybody to come, and then usually they’d get there; why, they have to stack all the furniture out in the yard, and they’d dance then in the house.

And, like I say, it was usually the square dances, or something like that, where there is group participation. It got to be quite a crowd in some of the small rural homes then. Sometimes they would last all night, according to the mood that the people were in, you know. If everybody was having a good time, and no kind of interruption or friction amongst the clan, why it would last all night; they’d still be dancing when the sun come up.[1]

Oscar Harper developed a notable reputation as a fiddler in East Texas, and was recorded by John A. Lomax in 1942 for the Library of Congress.

A shift to the second or third position on the violin may facilitate this tune.

Additional notes

Source for notated version: -

Printed sources : - Oscar Harper [Phillips].

Recorded sources: -Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes, vol. 2), 1995; p. 142.

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  1. Quoted from a transcription of a film entitled "Memories of Prince Albert Hunt" [1].