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Jun 13, 2018 - 12:41:17 AM
794 posts since 7/26/2015

Concerning the part in Orange Blossom Special that just rides the E, where everybody just seems to improvise, does there seem to be any consistency regarding how long that E part lasts? I'm talking about the old-school fiddlers who helped introduce it. I imagine that most of these guys were recorded playing the tune multiple times. The question is, is, are they consistent with the lengths of the sections from one performance to another? A buddy of mine used to play that tune for clogging contestants, believe it or not. I think he E part for 16 bars before going into the double-shuffle section in A. He'd play the E part longer when he was playing a set with a band or just jamming, but I don't know whether he had a consistent length for it in those cases, because I rarely played it with him.

Edited by - soppinthegravy on 06/13/2018 00:43:32

Jun 13, 2018 - 5:34:29 AM

3694 posts since 9/26/2008

Accotding to Wikipedia:

Rouse copyrighted the song in 1938 and recorded it in 1939. Bill Monroe, regarded by many as "the father of bluegrass music", recorded the song (with Art Wooten on fiddle) and made it a hit. Since then countless versions have been recorded, among them Wise's own, as an instrumental in a 1969 album Chubby Wise and His Fiddle. And that version, said Wise, "is the way It was written and the way it's supposed to be played"   

I suppose you could start with that and maybe check out Wooten's take. The wiki article also calls this tune a showcase tune because it lets a fiddler show off thier pyrotechnics and make train noises while they're at it. I personally see it as something of a parlor trick that impresses non fiddlers. Bow tricks plus speed.

Jun 13, 2018 - 5:56:50 AM
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1472 posts since 10/22/2007

If you really want to jump down this rabbit hole, get a copy of Orange Blossom Boys. It's a biography of the originator Ervin T. Rouse. It comes with an original recording. There's a tiny controversy weather Chubby Wise has rights to a co-authorship. (You'll just have to read it)
Rouse only died in 1981. He was a recluse. Back in the day, if one had neurological problems, some would isolate themselves, becoming a hermit. Again, it was a fascinating story. You'll never play it , and not think of it. But I won't be the spoiler.

A story,
I was in Las Vegas for the National Finals Rodeo. There was a Western band on stage, and the fiddler was introduced as Tony Ludiker. He played three or four songs/tunes in E after the first shuffle part. You almost forgot he was playing OBS. He fooled around and fooled around, then suddenly you heard the "walk down" and there's that shuffle part at long last.
Another story,
If you're into Bluegrass, Rhonda Vincent has several live versions. One with the Cherryholmes kids. And of course the great Hunter Berry.

Jun 13, 2018 - 6:10:11 AM

1965 posts since 10/1/2008
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Showcase tune … oh yeah. Audiences do love that double shuffle. I have listened to many players recordings of this tune and heard it live even more times. Nobody seems to play that middle E major section the same way. The book I learned it out of does some interesting things with a two octave arpeggio …. V. C. added some of the Dragnet TV theme to his version on Will the Circle Be Unbroken. I guess it's play what you want cause everybody else does. Insofar as sixteen bars …. I do like things to be balanced.. square as I call it. But that also is open to interpretation. R/

Jun 13, 2018 - 6:14:33 AM

1472 posts since 10/22/2007

Another thought about a "standard" length. My guess is more people have heard Johnny Cash's version than any. Especially in a band situation, it would be good to examine this version. We as fiddlers connect with instrumentals, but generally, audiences connect better to songs. They have the option to participate, sing along, to a song.

Jun 13, 2018 - 8:42:38 AM
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119 posts since 1/27/2018

I would say the early versions were fairly consistent with the length of the “E” section, being pretty compact compared to later renditions. The Stanley Brothers had an excellent recording from the mid-50s with Joe Meadows on fiddle, compared to the Bill Monroe version recorded in the early 40s it’s pretty similar with just a few more licks on the “E” section.

Edited by - Johnny Rosin on 06/13/2018 08:53:02

Jun 13, 2018 - 11:56:54 AM

2868 posts since 6/21/2007

And remember, a lot of the old "source" tunes were time-constrained when first recorded. The early discs were around 3 minutes maximum.

Jun 13, 2018 - 2:30:11 PM
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6531 posts since 3/19/2009

Soppin, you always come up with interesting stuff...must come natural...You've got me thinking.. Just how many Hangout members actually play the OBS??? If not, then why not?? It seems too showy for me, but maybe if I was to give it a try I might surprise myself..

Jun 13, 2018 - 3:42:51 PM

3694 posts since 9/26/2008

quote:
Originally posted by TuneWeaver

Soppin, you always come up with interesting stuff...must come natural...You've got me thinking.. Just how many Hangout members actually play the OBS??? If not, then why not?? It seems too showy for me, but maybe if I was to give it a try I might surprise myself..


I CAN play it, not really with the bow tricks, but I can play it all right and do great train noises. I was thinking the same as you, I should probably work out up and play it with the bluegrass band.

I have never had a request for it though. Devil went down to Georgia has been requested more times than I care to admit. The general public knows very little of fiddling. 

Jun 13, 2018 - 3:48:43 PM

6531 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by ChickenMan
quote:
Originally posted by TuneWeaver

Soppin, you always come up with interesting stuff...must come natural...You've got me thinking.. Just how many Hangout members actually play the OBS??? If not, then why not?? It seems too showy for me, but maybe if I was to give it a try I might surprise myself..


I CAN play it, not really with the bow tricks, but I can play it all right and do great train noises. I was thinking the same as you, I should probably work out up and play it with the bluegrass band.

I have never had a request for it though. Devil went down to Georgia has been requested more times than I care to admit. The general public knows very little of fiddling. 


Billy, you got that right.. I get requests for "Devil" often.  Once a guy requested OBS and I told him that I'd never heard of it.. He almost had a heart attack.. He walked away shaking his head in disbelief (really, that happened).. Yes, the public knows little about fiddling.. ( frankly ---probably  me included-- many FIDDLERS don't know as much about fiddling as they think they do..but that will make another Hangout topic .;) )

Jun 13, 2018 - 6:33:25 PM

794 posts since 7/26/2015

Here's my favorite version, which predates the author(Rouse)'s recording: youtube.com/watch?v=sT8MfRW26pQ

Edited by - soppinthegravy on 06/13/2018 19:24:21

Jun 13, 2018 - 8:15:19 PM

794 posts since 7/26/2015

On Strum Machine's version, the section in E lasts for 74 bars (72 if you don't count the last two measures, which are A chords).

It's something like "Train part", 8 bars, repeated 8 times, then "heading into shuffle", 10 bars, no repeat, then it finally goes to the "shuffle" and "post-shuffle" part, which are their usual lengths. Too long to spend on the "train part", in my opinion. Thoughts?

Jun 14, 2018 - 5:34:51 AM

3694 posts since 9/26/2008

Agreed, too much train. I suppose it's still a good resource for working on the various parts.

Jun 14, 2018 - 5:43:10 AM

1472 posts since 10/22/2007

Like Jerusalem Ridge, OBS seems like it might be tuff to play until you get to playing it. I had an old fiddler talk about a tuff tune, he says, "just play it a hundred times and you'll have it." Those two tunes in particular seem to be a good education that can carry over.

Jun 15, 2018 - 7:33:41 AM

fujers

USA

5231 posts since 2/14/2008

The E part is what you call the train part I guess. This is where you play all you can or know in the key of E anything you can think of. Trick..use your pentatonic scales and life will be easier

Jun 15, 2018 - 11:23:49 AM
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794 posts since 7/26/2015

I always liked the idea of putting a little bit of Train 45/Reuben in that E part, maybe Lost John.

Jun 15, 2018 - 12:48:34 PM

1012 posts since 6/26/2007

My take on OBS including the part in E, and including a stop at a station to pick up passengers :-)

Dave

Jun 16, 2018 - 7:14:41 PM
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bsed

USA

3893 posts since 6/23/2007

quote:
Originally posted by TuneWeaver

Soppin, you always come up with interesting stuff...must come natural...You've got me thinking.. Just how many Hangout members actually play the OBS??? If not, then why not?? It seems too showy for me, but maybe if I was to give it a try I might surprise myself..


Lee, I play the tune, which I learned to 1) satisfy an "itch"; and 2) if anybody requested it when I was busking, I'd hate to say 'no'. In fact,"How much is it worth to you, sir, if I play it?"

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