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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Sullivan's Hollow

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:

Cosmic_Cowboy - Posted - 05/22/2019:  12:38:26

Hi all,

I don't mean to spam this forum, but just thought I'd link to a really cool and seldom heard tune that might be of interest. It's called Sullivan's Hollow, and I learnt it from the late Tom Paley during our time playing together at the weekly old time session in the Shakespeare's Head pub, Sadler's Wells, London. It's a tune I was ambivilent about to begin with, and it took me a while to get my head around it, but it's become a favourite of mine now. Hope y'all approve :)

There are a few other old-time bits and bobs on my channel, so feel free to check those out too while you're there.

brettzke - Posted - 05/22/2019:  18:45:06

Nice job on Sullivan's Hollow, Jim. Also some nice tunes on your site. Thanks for posting.

carlb - Posted - 05/23/2019:  05:14:07


Originally posted by Cosmic_Cowboy

It's called Sullivan's Hollow, and I learnt it from the late Tom Paley

Nice version. I'm surprised you didn't mention the Freeny's Barn Dance Band version that most of us learned it from.

FiddlerPaul71 - Posted - 05/26/2019:  11:44:08

It is a great tune, a lot of fun to play. It was Old-Time TOTW #20, 11/11/18. Be sure to read the very interesting history behind the title:

Sullivan's Hollow, Paul Kirk

Edited by - FiddlerPaul71 on 05/26/2019 11:47:22

ChickenMan - Posted - 05/26/2019:  19:38:53

Sounds like Smith or Wilkes, not sure which plays which smiley

TuneWeaver - Posted - 05/28/2019:  09:14:21

Great busking tune.. You did a good job on it..!!

TuneWeaver - Posted - 05/28/2019:  13:04:16

You might like this info;; Maybe true, maybe not.. I don't know. It is probably debatable and I'm no expert: BTW.. I LOVE this tune.. I just "learn't" it last fall ...I play it often..

SULLIVAN'S HOLLOW. Old?Time, Breakdown. USA, Mississippi. D Major. Standard tuning. AA’B. The recording by the twin-fiddle Freeny’s Barn Dance Band, the original source for the tune, has been called by Tony Russell (1973) “one of the greatest stringband recordings ever made.” Although often rendered in the key of ‘D’, it is also played in the key of ‘C’. Sullivan's Hollow was a place near Lorena, Smith County (south of Scott County, south of Leake County), Mississippi, a part of the Bienville National Forest. It was a rough-and-tumble hill community for many years during and after the Civil War, as captured by Ann R. Hammons, author of Wild Bill Sullivan—King of the Hollow. She describes “the bloodiest fight the Hollow ever knew" (pg. 65), a mid-19th century battle that began after Wild Bill Sullivan had whipped Gabe Chain in a fight. In retaliation Chain determined to kill Bill’s brother, Neece, at Shiloh Church in Covington County, and enlisted the aid of some friends in the venture. They attacked Neece, who was accompanied by his friends Frank Gibbeons and Dan Hathorn at the spring near the church and a bloody fight ensued in which Gabe Chain himself was killed. During the fight another of the Chain gang slumped to the ground, and was asked by one of his comrades whether he was hurt much, a question answered by Dan Hathorn who said, “You damn right he is hurt. He is dead as hell.” Hathorn saved Neece Sullivan by pulling two guns and warning the others that, "If you touch him, you are dead men."


ChickenMan - Posted - 05/28/2019:  16:51:05

Lee, much of that story is in the link to Paul’s tune of the week smiley

TuneWeaver - Posted - 05/28/2019:  17:22:20


Originally posted by ChickenMan

Lee, much of that story is in the link to Paul’s tune of the week smiley

Yeah, I'm not usually 'with' it..


Edited by - TuneWeaver on 05/28/2019 17:22:37

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