Ryan's Mammoth Collection
DM: This section of Ryan's was devoted to syncopated banjo and fiddle tunes in cut time used to accompany the hard and soft shoe dancers of blackface minstrelsy and the later variety stage. They were sometimes referred to as straight jigs to distinguish them from the Irish variety.
|Bird on the Wing||117||83||DM: First part resembles the fifth part of Kitty O'Neil's Champion (Ryan p112).|
|Black Sheep||112||80||DM: Attributed by Ryan's to fiddler Dick Myers (born Baltimore 1809, died Philadelphia 1874), who performed in the 1840s with the Virginia Serenaders. His blackface stage name was "Ole Bull", after the famous touring Norwegian violin virtuoso.|
|Bob Chadduck's||113||80||DM: AKA King-Pin (Ryan p117)|
|Dar's Sugar in De Gourd||118||84||DM: Ryan's attributes this to James Buckley of the Boston-based minstrel family. Born in 1803 in Manchester, England, he authored a banjo tutor in 1860 and died in Quincy, Massachusetts in 1872. See notes on Buckley's (Ryan p136).|
|H -' on the Wabash||114||81||DM: In 1883 you couldn't print "Hell" (though "Nigger" was allowable). This tune is attributed to Dan Emmett, the minstrel fiddler and banjo player who also took credit for the song Dixie.|
|Harry Bloodgood's Famous||118||84||DM: Bloodgood, who led his own minstrel troupe, was the composer of Poor Old Rufe (or Rube), a popular blacface song printed in Minstrel Songs Old and New (Boston, 1883).|
|Jersey Lightning||113||80||DM: In Prohibition days, and probably much earlier, Garden State "moonshine" was known as "Jersey Lightning." Frank Quinn recorded an unrelated song by this name.|
|King-Pin||117||83||DM: AKA Bob Chadduck's (Ryan p113)|
|Kitty O'Neil's Champion||112||80||DM: This tune is a "sand jig," i.e., a shuffle dance performed on a sand-strewn stage or, in more recent times, a sandbox placed on the stage. The name honors the most famous female "jig" dancer on the American variety stage in the 1870s and '80s. A version of the first two parts was printed as Kitty O'Neil c. 1867 in Howe's 1000 from the playing of Boston fiddler Jimmy "the Boss Jig Player" Norton. The fifth of seven parts resembles the first part of Bird on the Wing (Ryan p117), while the second part is much like that of Phil Isaac's (Ryan p112). Revived (as Kitty O'Shea) by Tommy Peoples in the 1970s and since recorded by Kevin Burke, among others.|
|Kitty Sharpe's Champion||117||83||DM: Named for a variety stage dancer of who performed in the Bowery beer hall theaters of New York in the 1880s. This tune would seem to have been composed by the same hand that authored Kitty O'Neill's Champion. O'Neill printed the first two parts as Everybody's Fancy. Kerr's II reprinted it from Ryan's.|
|Nigger in De Woodpile||114||82||DM: Another tune attributed to Dan Emmett in Hans
Nathan's biography of the minstrel.
NG: In Cole's this is simply called The Wood Pile.
|Oakland Garden||115||82||DM: Oakland Garden was a Boston theater. Ryan's attributes this tune to Edwin Christie, a singer and banjo player born in Philadelphia in 1815 and the founder of the original Christie's Minstrels. Christie popularized (and took credit for) some of Stephen Foster's songs. He committed suicide in New York in 1862.|
|Phil Isaac's||112||80||DM: Isaac was a fiddler born in London in 1831. In 1857 he became a founding member of Bryant's Minstrels. He died in San Francisco in 1865. The second part of this tune is quite similar to the second part of Kitty O'Neil's Champion.|
|Root, Hog, or Die||118||84||DM: A minstrel song/dance tune attributed to Dan Emmett.|
|Tidal Wave||112||80||DM: Attributed by Ryan's to Eddie Fox, a minstrel fiddler of the 1870s and '80s who also composed the songs Carry the News to Mary and Goodbye Liza Jane.|
|Tom Briggs||113||80||DM: Briggs was a prominent minstrel-era banjo player who in 1855 published a banjo tutor. He is also credited with inventing the banjo "thimble" (used for rapid tremolo picking) in 1848.|