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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Happy Birthday Lexie Baker! (Jan 11, 1916)

Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link:

bosco - Posted - 01/09/2011:  22:03:08

You may not familiar with a fiddler named Lexie, but I'm sure you heard of a fiddler who's last name is Baker.
Lexie had a brother named Thaddeus, father to fiddler of some note named Kenny.
Here are some tunes I learned from his recording.

Edited by - bosco on 01/10/2011 06:19:40

Boatin'Up Sandy

Forked Deer

Indian Killed the Woodchuck

RobBob - Posted - 01/10/2011:  10:52:47


Where did you get a recording of Lexie? That last tune you played is often credited to Kenny, glad to hear it is older than Kenny. It sounds so Eastern Kentucky.

bosco - Posted - 01/11/2011:  00:47:06

Originally posted by RobBob


Where did you get a recording of Lexie? That last tune you played is often credited to Kenny, glad to hear it is older than Kenny. It sounds so Eastern Kentucky.

Message sent.
I don't have a recording at hand but doesn't J.P.'s Sail Away Ladies sound like this one?

RobBob - Posted - 01/11/2011:  07:03:47

The A parts are very similar. JP's B part goes around the horn I-IV-V while the one you played and the Baker's played went I-V-I.

I think was nagging in the back of my head. I had spent some time with JP and i think I remember he played Killed the Woodchuck. If you knew him at all you knew he had a streak of devilment in him. He liked to have his fun. He has not been well for sometime now.

DougD - Posted - 01/11/2011:  07:43:31

The Fiddler's Companion notes that J.P.'s tune is similar, and that he learned it from Ed Haley, who used the "Indian" title. I think Paul Smith told me once that "Indian" was the name of Snake Chapman's dog, and that's what the title refers to, but the tune seems to have other roots, so maybe it was a coincidence, or I imagined it.

It kind of reminds me of Bob Wills' "Cotton Eyed Joe":

Also, "Forked Deer" reminds me of "Molly Put the Kettle On."

I'm starting to think that those Kentucky fiddlers didn't so much create new tunes as forget the proper names of the old ones!

Edit: Its interesting that Lexie was only ten years older than Kenny. Also, we think of Kenny Baker as a Bluegrass fiddler drawing on his oldtime roots from deep in darkest Kentucky, but until he started playing with Monroe I think he was more interested in jazz and western swing music, some of which he learned from Marion Sumner.

Edited by - DougD on 01/11/2011 07:59:38

RobBob - Posted - 01/11/2011:  08:29:43

JP related a lot of stories to me about Marion and other fiddlers. They were not as hung up on the academics of the tune histories etc. as the current generations seem to be. Lots of fiddlers never even learned the names to tunes they learned from family and friends. Harold Carney, a fiddler I learned a lot from played Uncle Rob's tunes. I asked once if it had another tune, he said "Yes but I never knew it." It begs the question, why not ask? Indeed it was a different time.

DougD - Posted - 01/11/2011:  08:49:34

Not to hijack bosco's thread, but I think Marion could do more with a fiddle than anyone I've known, and make it look effortless too. I knew him mostly when he was playing with Lee Sexton, and the problem I had was trying to keep him a little close to the ground on record. You could get him to play a tune straight the first time through, but after that there was no stopping him. I know Lee still misses him (probably especially when I play fiddle with him!) and I do too. A different time for sure:

Edited by - DougD on 01/11/2011 08:51:31

RobBob - Posted - 01/11/2011:  09:14:47

Nice photo of a bunch of young(er) guys there Doug. Did you ever see the movie Searching for the Wrong Eyed Jesus? (Sorry Bosco) Lee is great n that.

DougD - Posted - 01/11/2011:  09:40:23

I've only seen a few clips on YouTube I think. Guess I should check it out. Of course I have the real Lee to deal with periodically too!
Now we return you to Bosco!

bosco - Posted - 01/11/2011:  15:30:44

You guys are welcome to hijack the thread. I really enjoy myself reading the geezers talking about old days.

Wrong Eyed Jesus, yes!

RobBob - Posted - 01/11/2011:  16:13:56

Geezers! Heck it hasn't been quite 40 years since I first met Doug.

mudbug - Posted - 01/13/2011:  12:36:42

Was that Jim Croce who wandered into that jam picture?

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