Walking in the Parlor (1)
X:1 T:Walking in the Parlor  S:Alonzo Elvis "Tony" Alderman (1900-1983, western Virginia, with the Hill Billies) M:C| L:1/8 D:Vocalion 5024 (78 RPM), The Hill Billies (1926) F:https://www.slippery-hill.com/recording/walking-parlor-1 Z:Transcribed by Andrew Kuntz K:D a3(f a2)ag|fgaf ed3|a3a baba|fde2 d4| a3(f a2)ag|fgaf ed3|a3a baba|fd e2d2|| d(f|e)ddB ABde|fefd e2 d(f|e)ddB ABde|fded- d2d(f| e)ddB ABde|fefd e2 d(f|e)ddB ABde|fded- d4||
WALKING IN THE PARLOR . American, Reel (cut time). USA; West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Silberberg): ABB (Brody): ABA'A'B'B' (Krassen). A melody with minstrel-era origins (for which see "Walk in the Parlor (1)"), although some hear distinct echoes of the English morris dance melody “Shepherd’s Hey.” It was widely disseminated in the Upland South and Piedmont regions, the deep south and MidWest, propelled by early 78 RPM-era recordings by D. Dix Hollis (1924) and The Hill Billies (1926). The tune was mentioned in an account as having been played at a LaFollette, northeast Tennessee fiddlers' contest in 1931. The title (as "Walk in the Parlor") appears in a list of traditional Ozarks Mountians fiddle tunes compiled by musicologist/folklorist Vance Randolph, published in 1954. Wilson Douglas (Ivydale, W.Va.) remarks it was noted W.Va. fiddler French Carpenter's favorite tune, and says of its origins with his mentor:
A lady composed that. She was a fiddler and a top square dancer. She lived during Carpenter's time, but she was old. French said she played that tune and nobody could beat her. That's where he learned it. Her name was Trod Evans. She was a lady fiddler.
Indeed, the tune is sometimes called “Trude Evans.” It took five years, according to Douglas, for him to learn the tune with "the proper time at the proper time, or the proper rock, or the proper swing, or the proper shuffle." Despite its minstrel beginnings Gerald Milnes found a version with topical references regarding the nature of John D. Rockefeller (Milnes, Play of a Fiddle, 1999).
This version of "Walking in the Parlor" was recorded in New York City in October, 1926, by the North Carolina/Virginia group The Hill Billies (AKA Al Hopkins & His Buckle Busters), with Tony Alderman and Fred Roe on fiddles for this cut (Charlie Bowman, another famed fiddler with the group, played banjo on this cut).