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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Old-Time TOTW #150: Going Down Town (5/9/21)

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:

FiddlerPaul71 - Posted - 05/09/2021:  05:59:44

This week's tune is Going Down Town from the playing of Wilson Bernard Douglas (22 October 1922--10 March 1999). He was the son of Shirley Andrew Douglas (1897-1971) and Goldie Morris (1902-1997).

Douglas learned fiddle from his maternal grandmother, Rosie Morris, as well as neighbors Tom Carpenter and his son French. Wilson's grandfather and Sol Carpenter were half brothers. Wilson apprenticed himself to French Carpenter for years, giving him a unique, individual style. Ed Haley (Logan County) was a big influence on Wilson. Haley convinced Wilson to devote himself to the fiddle. (nearly all the above information from Scott Prouty:

Douglas was a regular at the Vandalia Gathering in Charleston and State Folk Festival at Glenville. He taught at Augusta Heritage workshops in Elkins and produced six recordings of his music (information from obituary)

There is an excellent biography in Douglas's own words that I highly recommend reading

Going Down Town is very similar to the tune Lynchburg Town. Douglas sang these lyrics to Going Down Town:

I'm going downtown

I'm going downtown,

I'm going down to Lynchburg town,

Pick my tobaccer down.

Tobaccer's selling good this year,

A dollar-and-a-half a pound;

Leave me a knife, to cut it with,

And a man tote it around.

I'm gonna get some sticks and rocks,

To build my chimney higher;

Keep that ornery old tom cat

From puttin' out the fire.

Joining me are friends Steve Blake on fiddle (Catford, London, England), Paul Martin on guitar (Limehouse, London, England).

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I will be teaching Icy Mountain (Ward Jarvis) at a workshop for Black Creek Fiddler's Reunion on Saturday, May 29 at 2pm. For more information, email or check the Friends of Black Creek page on Facebook or

Edited by - FiddlerPaul71 on 05/09/2021 06:05:46

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