White Man

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WHITE MAN. AKA – “Bell Cow.” Old Time, Breakdown. USA, Missouri. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. “White Man” is one of the ‘100 essential Missouri fiddle tunes’ according to Missouri fiddler Charlie Walden. Howard Marshall (Play Me Something Quick and Devilish, 2013, pp. 124-125) notes that the title is the one source African-American fiddler Bill Katon (or Caton) used when he played the tune at dances and over radio station WOS in the 1920's. Marshall traces the tunes dissemination through fiddlers Seth Bradley and Jim Gilmore, among others, who learned the tune from Katon, and Bradley taught it to fiddler Jake Hockemeyer (Mokane, Missouri) in the 1930's. Hockemeyer, in turn, along with Bradley introduced it to a wider audience in the mid-20th century through their own radio and contest playing.

Source for notated version: Bill Katon (1864-1934, Tebbetts, Callaway County, Missouri) [Christeson].

Printed sources: R.P. Christeson (Old Time Fiddlers Repertory, vol. 2), 1984; p. 60.

Recorded sources: Voyager CD372, John White - "Nine Miles of Dry and Dusty."

See also listing at:
Hear fidder John White play the tune at the Missouri Traditional Fiddle & Dance Network site [1]
See/hear Charlie Walden teach the tune on youtube.com [2] [3]

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