Cubilophobia And The Brainwashing Of Youth
:: Rickett's Hornpipe & Durang's Hornpipe ::
I'm not a huge fan of square dance records, but of course that didn't stop me from buying one. I got a bad taste in my mouth for square dancing after I was forced to learn how to do it in the 3rd grade, so please don't ask me to dosado or allamande thar or somesuch shit. I am simply not interested. I was correct in assuming though that a square dance record might be amusing because if you didn't know what it was all about, it would just sound weird.
Ok, so the guy doing the "calls" on this record is Dave Rumbaugh. According the liner notes, Dave was not a "professional" square dance caller, but rather a physical education supervisor for the Goddamn L.A. Unified School District! And his job included the instruction of square dance fundamentals to teachers in elementary schools! Shiiiit! So I can effectively blame this guy for permanently scarring me at such a tender young age. Fine.
Band leader Cliffie Stone is a much more interesting character, however. A Los Angeles native, he was the son of comedian/banjo player Herman The Hermit (!!!). After WWII, he played bass for one of my favorite big bands, Freddie Slack ("Cow Cow Boogie"). He got into local radio and made a big splash with shows like Covered Wagon Jubilee and Hollywood Barn Dance and somewhere along way, worked his way into the then fledgling Capitol Records as an A&R guy. There, he discovered Tennessee Ernie Ford and Western Swinger Hank Thompson, who he also managed for 10 years. If you ever wondered how Capitol cornered the market when it came to Bakersfield and basically any non-Nashville based country, Cliffie Stone is your answer.
There used to be a square dance club near my house that had weekly meetings and you'd always see old people dressed all weird coming and going all the time. Does that still happen, or is it now a lost art? Where's Dave Rumbaugh when you need him?