Whistling Coon (The)
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WHISTLING COON, THE. Old Time, Reel. F Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). USA, Mississippi. A composition of Carroll County, Mississippi, fiddler Willie Narmour (b. 1889). Polk Brockman of Okeh records discovered Narmour and Smith at the Winona fiddle contest organized by Doc Bailey in 1927. "Whistling Coon" was one of the tunes (an instrumental) recorded at their first OKeh session, in Memphis, Tennessee, in February, 1928. However, there were other "Whistling Coon" melodies. "Whistling Coon" was recorded in 1891 for Edison Labratories by African-American performer and songwriter George W. Johnson (who billed himself as 'the Whistling Coon'). The groups The Nations Brothers and The Short Brothers (1928, who also recorded in Memphis for OKeh Records) both issued their own ragged and uptempo recordings of the song (without composer credits for Johnson), which by then had entered folk tradition.
Source for notated version:
Recorded sources: Document DOCD-8065, "Narmour & Smith Complete Recorded Works 1928-1930, vol. 1." Musical Traditions MT 104, Narmour & Smith - "Where the Southern Crosses the Dog: Mississippi Fiddle Music 1928-35" (1994). OKeh Records 45206 (78 RPM), The Short Brothers (1928). OKeh Records 45263 (78 RPM), Narmour & Smith (1928)
See also listing at:
Hear Narmour & Smith's 1928 recording on youtube.com