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    The Semantic Index of North American, British and Irish
 traditional instrumental music with annotations, formerly known as
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John L. "Uncle Bunt" Stevens won the title of World Champion Fiddler in 1926 playing this tune. Stephens' prize was said to be $1,000, a new suit, a car, and a new set of teeth.
Sail away Ladies

Played by: Elizabeth La Prelle
Source: Soundcloud
Image: John L. "Uncle Bunt" Stephens


Sail away Ladies

The earliest sound recordings of "Sail away Ladies" were by John L. "Uncle Bunt" Stevens [1] (1926-without words) and Uncle Dave Macon (1927-with words). Stephens was born in 1871 in Tallapoosa, near Lynchburg, southern middle Tennessee, and was a farmer for most of his life. He rapidly rose to fame in 1926 when he placed in regional competitions and then won the title of World Champion Fiddler in 1926 playing this tune, along with his version of “Old Hen Cackled (1) (The),” besting 1,876 other fiddlers in auto magnate Henry Ford’s series of contests. The competitions were held at Ford dealerships through the East and Midwest in the 1920's, and winners of the local contests were brought to Detroit to play in the championship round. Stephens' prize was said to be $1,000, a new suit, a car, and a new set of teeth. Harry Smith (Folkways FA2951, 1952) thought that Uncle Bunt Stephen’s performance (Columbia Records, 1926) was “probably similar to much American dance music in the period between the Revolutionary and Civil Wars.” After recording his four 78 RPM sides for Columbia, and making a short tour with some appearances on the Grand Ole Opry stage, Uncle Bunt retired from public life and returned to his farm in Tallapoosa. He died in 1951. Southern Kentucky fiddler Henry L. Bandy also recorded the tune for Gennett Records in 1928, although the side was not issued.

...more at: Sail away Ladies - full Score(s) and Annotations

X:1 T:Sail away Ladies [1] S:Uncle Bunt Stephens M:C| L:1/8 R:Reel Z:by Andrew Kuntz K:G V:1 clef=treble name="1." [V:1] ([GB]|[GB])GAG ([GB]A)G2|([G_B][G2=B2]A)G2+slide+([G2B2]|G)AGE D2E2|G3G[G,3G3][GB]-| [GB]GGG AG[G2B2]|([G_B][G2=B2]A)G2+slide+([G2B2]|G)AGE D2E2|G3G[G,3G3]|| |:g=|ggga g2d2|[e3e3]d [e3e3][eg]-|[e2g2][e2g2]ed B2|[D3d3]d [D3d3]([ee]| [ee])[ee]e[Dd] [D2B2][G,2G2]|([D4A4][DA])[G,3G3]([G_B]|[G3=B3])G AG D2E2|[G,3G3]G,[G,3G3]:|]

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Who Builds the TTA

Who Builds the TTA

Although we are not trained musicologists and make no pretense to the profession, we have tried to apply such professional rigors to this Semantic Abc Web as we have internalized through our own formal and informal education.
This demands the gathering of as much information as possible about folk pieces to attempt to trace tune families, determine origins, influences and patterns of aural/oral transmittal, and to study individual and regional styles of performance.
Many musicians, like ourselves, are simply curious about titles, origins, sources and anecdotes regarding the music they play. Who, for example, can resist the urge to know where the title Blowzabella came from or what it means, or speculating on the motivations for naming a perfectly respectable tune Bloody Oul' Hag, is it Tay Ye Want?
Knowing the history of the melody we play, or at least to have a sense of its historical and social context, makes the tune 'present' in the here and now, and enhances our rendering of it.
Andrew Kuntz & Valerio Pelliccioni

Please register as a user to make the most of the many functions of the TTA, and enjoy the many ways that information about traditional tunes can be elicited and combined, from simple to complex situations. Users may make contributions, which, when reviewed by an editor, become part of this community project. Serious user/contributors may become editors through the TTA's autopromotion process, in which quantity and quality of entries allows increased levels of permission to edit and review the entire index.
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