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Transcriber’s Notes: Words or phrases in found brackets represent unclear or unintelligible portions of the recording. Brackets are also used to provide the reader with helpful background information about the recording. Underlined text within the transcription represents more than one person speaking at the same time.

Bailey: [Recording begins mid-song]

Interviewer 2: Sounds like an Irishy kind of a tune, yeah.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Bailey: [Continues playing fiddle]

Mbailey: Alfred, he wants a hoedown he said.

Bailey: Okay. Here’s a hoedown.

[1:36----3:00 Plays “Back Up and Push.”]

“Back Up and Push.”

Interviewer 2: Another complicated ending. [Laughs]

Interviewer: [Laughs]

Bailey: Let’s play “Don’t Let Your Deal Go Down.”

[3:06---4:12 Plays ‘Don’t Let Your Deal Go Down.”]

Interviewer 2: That’s something that you learned recently.

Bailey: No, I’ve knowed that for years. Fifty years ago.

Interviewer 2: But you’ve added some things to it.

Bailey: No, not really.

Interviewer 2: Not really?

Bailey: No, no, they played it on the radio at that time----

Interviewer 2: Okay, they played it on the radio [many people talk at the same time]; Played it on the radio okay. Somehow we have lost the [unintelligible].

Bailey: Here it is in G [Plays “Don’t Let Your Deal Go Down” in G].

Interviewer 2: Okay, what about Kentucky tunes, just local as opposed to radio pieces and records and stuff like that.

Bailey: Well, that’s Kentucky tunes I was playing. They played them when I was a boy.

Interviewer 2: On the radio.

Bailey: No, people played them around here.

Interviewer 2: People around here.

Bailey: [Fuller] County was full of fiddle players at that time.

Interviewer: Yes.

Bailey: They played them around here, they was young fiddle players, but there’s nobody anymore. There’s two fiddle players left in this county that I know. [Carol] and me. They don’t take it up no more.

Interviewer 2: That’s right.

Bailey: Yeah.

M.Bailey: [Out of practice].

Interviewer 2: [Laughs]

Mbailey: Young kids now are [Bailey begins playing fiddle and M.Bailey’s voice is drowned out].

Interviewer: Wanted to go back over and let you have another one you are ready to play.

Bailey: Go ahead.

Interviewer: That “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” You got the old version.

Bailey: Now that’s an old one.

Interviewer: Where did you get learn it?

Bailey: Now I mean this piece I learned it from this old man George Watson. He’d be, he’d be way over a hundred years old if he was living now. He just played two or three pieces, but he could play this better than any fiddle player I ever heard it, try to play it. He had such a good touch on it.

Interviewer: mmm-hmmm.

Bailey: He touched it really.

[6:49----8:56 Plays “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.”]

Interviewer 2: Now what, what would they, would they ever dance to a tune like that?

Bailey: Not necessarily I wouldn’t think. They played another one back then they called “My Baby Don’t Like Me.” That was [unintelligible] taken from that I am sure. I don’t know whether I can play it now or not, but I will try it. [Unintelligible].

[9:24--- 1:00Plays “My Baby Don’t Like Me.”]

Interviewer 2: What, what’s the name of that?

Bailey: “My Baby Don’t Like Me.”

Interviewer 2: “My Baby Don’t Like Me.”

Bailey: Now that’s an old one.

Interviewer 2: An ancestor to “I Don’t Love Nobody,” is that what you thought it is on that?

Bailey: Yeah, that’s where it come from, I’m sure.

Interviewer: I’d believe that.

Bailey: They improved on it, see.

Interviewer 2: Improved on it?

Bailey: Yeah, or they thought they did, change it.

Interviewer 2: The other one sounds like it’s an old cakewalk to my mind.

Bailey: Yeah, it’s an old fiddle piece.

Interviewer 2: That’s pretty unusual to find somebody who’d play one. [Laughs]. [Many voices speaking at the same time].

M.Bailey: They had cakewalks [other voices also talking]

Bailey: “Double Eagle” or something like that or something that wasn’t too fast.

M.Bailey: We’ve had them; we have been to them, I mean, two or three different times. [Bailey begins playing as she talks]. They had him at the fair. Play for them one time. In Bardstown.

Bailey: Here’s an old piece, and I know it was awful old, but they used to play when I was a boy called “Anna Laura.” It’s a slow music. I heard it in a western movie one day, and I said, “Well, I know that.”

[ 2:00 ---- 3:00Plays “Anna/Annie Laura.”]

Interviewer 2: Is that the Steven Foster “Annie Laura?”�Interviewer: I don’t know.

Bailey: I don’t think Steven Foster wrote that. I think it’s older than him to be truthful to you.

Interviewer: If it was he probably picked it up from the tradition.

Interviewer 2: Well, yeah, that [laughs].

Interviewer: He’s marked for doing that

Interviewer 2: He’s marked for doing that [laughs].

Interviewer: You know.

Interviewer 2: He’s known for doing that.

M.Bailey: Have you seen the---- [begins talking to Interviewer, and Interviewer 2 and Bailey also begin speaking at the same time]

Interviewer 2: You wouldn’t happen to know, since somehow we got off on these slow tunes, any like the old ballad aires or anything like that?

Bailey: Not that I know of, no.

Interviewer 2: Okay.

M.Bailey: His experience’s been mostly fiddle, uh, square dance.

Interviewer 2: Yeah. How about “Brick Yard Joe?”

Bailey: Yeah, I play “Brick Yard Joe.” I may not play it like you know it.

[ 4:00 --- 5:00Plays “Brick Yard Joe.”]

Interviewer 2: That’s, that’s different.

Bailey: That’s different than what you know it then?

Interviewer 2: Yeah, yeah. There’s a Missouri tune they call “Brick Yard Joe,” but it’s a different, different tune entirely.

M.Bailey: Alfred weren’t the men that played on the radio all over [unintelligible] in Cincinnati, Ohio. They lived just right across the river and they were Kentuckians, weren’t they?

Bailey: Yeah. Clayton McMichen was from Georgia. Of course he played Georgia [unintelligible]. Guy Breakman was from down here in Kentucky, and Burt Lane lived in Covington.

M.Bailey: But they had to go across the river---

Interviewer 2: Yeah, right.

M.Bailey: Radio station there. We didn’t have one around here. I mean we could reach them from this area, but we couldn’t reach---

Bailey: Charlie Lindell come from up here at Paris. He played on radio down there. “Casey Jones” was [unintelligible]. You ever hear “Casey Jones?”

Interviewer: The song, Casey---

Bailey: No, the fiddler player

Interviewer 2: The fiddler [many voices talking at the same time].

Bailey: He was the national champion four times, played down in Louisville.

Interviewer: I haven’t heard of him.

Bailey: He could get some of the prettiest Irish notes you ever heard on a fiddle.

Interviewer 2: What is an Irish note?

Bailey: Well, he was a good Irish fiddle player [Many people speaking at the same time]. He could play and Irish piece and get the prettiest notes. But he always had to have too much to drink every time he played [Interviewer and M.Bailey speaking to one another in the background.]

Interviewer 2: I have heard of that guy once or twice. Would you play that tune that you learned from Uncle Harry, I think it was in the key of C. I thought it might be an old march or something like that. Could you do that again for me?

[ 6:00---Plays tune again, but recording ends mid song.]

Bailey: [17: 20--- 7:00Plays song].

Interviewer 2: And that’s what you call the “Coon Dog?”

Bailey: Uh-huh.

Interviewer 2: What was the other one you asked---?

Bailey: There’s a “Turkey Buzzard.”

[ 8:00 --- 9:00Plays “Turkey Buzzard.”]

Interviewer 2: It’s the only “Turkey Buzzard” as far as I’m concerned.

M.Bailey: And what was that other piece you wanted?

Interviewer 2: It was a couple of shadishes.

[Everyone:] Yeah, okay.

Interviewer: Takes us all to keep up [laughs].


[ 10:00 --- 11:00Plays unmanned song]

Interviewer 2: Another key of C one.

Bailey: Uh-huh.

[ 12:00 --- 13:00Plays another unnamed song.]

Interviewer: Where did you get that one?

Bailey: I’ve just known it all my life.

M.Bailey: Didn’t Uncle Harry play one of those shadishes?

Bailey: I think he played that [unintelligible].

Interviewer: My Uncle Harry plays that. Did you have two B parts to that?

Bailey: I don’t know. [Plays through parts of the song again].

Interviewer: This is the way he plays it. [Plays different version of the song; sounds as if another fiddle player comes in at one point in the song].

Interviewer 2: He’s trying to match two different [unintelligible] strings slightly though.

Interviewer: Yeah, well it’s the same piece---

M.Bailey: It’s the same piece, but he’s just learned it from what he remembers.

Bailey: Yeah, and you learned it from what you remember.

M.Bailey: What, you’ve probably got the---

Interviewer: It’s interesting. You’re B part was, play your B part again.

Bailey: Your D part?

Interviewer 2: The second part [Everyone speaks at the same time]

Bailey: [Plays B part again]

Interviewer: Now, it has words.

Bailey: Yeah.

Interviewer: [Sings a few of the words]

Mbailey: Uncle Harry played that; I can remember it.

Interviewer: My Uncle Harry did too. [Many voices speaking at the same time while Bailey plays practice notes on the fiddle].

Bailey: Here let’s play a little bit of

[ 14:00---Plays song as M.Bailey talks to Interviewer about shirts; most of their conversation is unintelligible].

Interviewer: Now the other one’s the one we don’t know the name to. Is that right?

Bailey: Uh-hmm.

Interviewer: Yeah. I’ve got to learn the one we don’t know the name to.

M.Bailey: Oh, you’re working on that?

Interviewer: Yeah, [Bailey playing fiddle as M.Bailey speaks]. My uncle, he’s about just about seventy. He can play for an hour and a half [Bailey interrupts]----

Bailey: I want to play you a little “Tom and Jerry” just a little bit! [Laughs]

Interviewer: All right. I love “Tom and Jerry!”

Bailey: [Laughs]

M.Bailey: Y’all can pack up, but he wants to entertain you.

Interviewer 2: We’ll pack up while you do “Tom and Jerry.”

[ 15:00 --- 16:00Plays “Tom and Jerry.”]

Interviewer: That needs to be on our list.

Bailey: Yeah. [laughs]

Interviewer: You think that needs to be on our list?

Bailey: Oh yeah. I think so. [laughs]

Interviewer 2: Marynell, put that on your list.

Interviewer: Put it on our list. We’ve got a long list here. Thank you for letting me read this.

M.Bailey: Well, I thought we were talking about it, I thought, well [voices speaking at the same time]. I’v got two of those.

Interviewer: Oh, you do? Oh, okay.

M.Bailey: Just keep it.

Interviewer: Let me just---

M.Bailey: Because I found one when I was trying to put those other things away I found that. And I thought, well, we were telling you about how funny the program was and about----

Bailey: Don’t be in a hurry.

Interviewer 2: Well, we’re not in a real big hurry.

Interviewer: See if we can come back next Thursday or Friday.

Interviewer 2: Well, who knows what’s going on. [Laughs] But you’re close. [Recording ends and begins again]

Bailey: The Electoral votes.

Mbailey: More popular votes but got the electoral votes.

Interviewer: Now whose concocted the tune? Who put the tune---?

Bailey: I don’t know. I learnt it from an old French harp player.

Interviewer: French harp player, okay.

Bailey: And I don’t practice it enough, but I’ll see if I can play it for you, called “Tilden to the Whitehouse.”

[ 17:00 --- 18:00Plays “Tilden to the Whitehouse.”]

Interviewer 2: I’ve never heard of that.

M.Bailey: They didn’t, they didn’t put that ending on it like that I know. [laughs]. Because that’s his.

Interviewer 2: Yeah, I knew that wasn’t a part of the tune.

Bailey: That was 1876, I think.

Interviewer: Is “Stepping in the Parlor” a Missouri tune?

Interviewer 2: Not that I know.

Bailey: Well, I heard it one morning, they was playing it in New Orleans, but I learned it from Uncle Henry [unintelligible].

Interviewer: Oh did you? I thought that might be it but I wasn’t sure.

Bailey: [ 19:00 --- 20:00Plays “Stepping in the Parlor.”]

Interviewer 2: Another C tune.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Bailey: [Plays tune again in the Key of D] That’s it in D.

Interviewer 2: That’s it in D.

Bailey: Yeah.

Interviewer 2: Is that the way most people played it was in D?

Bailey: No, I don’t know. He, uh, I think Uncle Henry played it in D. I play it in C. I like it to roll a little better in C.

Interviewer 2: Well that’s why, that’s what I was asking you [laughs].

Bailey: Yeah, it rolls. And I like the C chord I guess. A lot of fiddle players don’t.

Interviewer 2: That’s fairly obvious that you like the key C. [laughs].

Bailey: Yeah, yeah I like the key of C because it don’t give you a note.

Interviewer 2: But do you like----

Interviewer: How about “Up Jumped the Devil” or “Pluck the Devil’s Eye.”

Bailey: Well, now I don’t pluck it. I just learnt to play it without plucking it. I was too lazy, but I had a friend over in Bass Town; he could pluck it and play it and so the rest of fiddle players be playing it, and I would just get in and play it my lazy way. [laughs].

Interviewer 2: “Pluck the Devil’s Eye.”

Bailey: I do it the bow.

[ 21:00 --- 22:00Plays ‘Pluck the Devil’s Eye.”] That’s something for you to work on.

Interviewer 2: Now how was that originally? How did the other guys do that?

Bailey: They was getting the same notes, only plucking them.

Interviewer 2: Plucking them with which hand?

Bailey: Left hand.

Interviewer 2: Oh, okay. [laughs]

M.Bailey: He would pluck that [Bailey playing at the same time]

Bailey: He halfway plucked them. [Bailey experiments with plucking]. It was handier for me to use the bow than to pluck them. [laughs].

Interviewer 2: The reason I was curious it looks like you could almost do it with the right hand.

Mbailey: Drag your finger over?

Interviewer 2: Yeah, drag your finger over.

M.Bailey: Alfred did you [unintelligible].

Bailey: Well, no his left hand. Yeah, you could do it. That would be easier.

Interviewer 2: That’s why I asked you which hand.

Interviewer: You play one that you---

Interviewer 2: I don’t do that with the right hand.

Interviewer: No, but you bow and pluck at the same time.

Interviewer 2: Oh yeah I know lots of those. [laughs]

Interviewer: Very interesting.

Bailey: Well I thought [unintelligible] at a dance probably wouldn’t get half the notes loud enough. That was the trick to that. They all had to come out plain or they couldn’t hear them.

Interviewer 2: That’s right.

Bailey: You’d be all right to sit down for your own amusement and pluck it out that a way. You could learn it that a way, but I don’t know whether you could pluck them loud enough for them to dance to it by.

Interviewer 2: You’d probably pop a string. Umm, do you tune for “Bonaparte’s Retreat” or do you just play it standard?

Bailey: No, I just play it.

Interviewer 2: You just play it.

Bailey: I’ll try it hear if you want to hear it. I can play sense you hear [unintelligible].

[ 23:00--- Plays part of “Bonaparte’s Retreat] No I think I’ve got that in the wrong key. [Plays more] There it goes. [ 24:00--- Plays “Bonaparte’s Retreat.”] No, I am getting it wrong.

Interviewer 2: That’s, that’s the song version.

Bailey: [Plays more of song]. I ain’t playing it right today someway or another.

Interviewer: What about “Sugar Tree Stomp?”

Bailey: Yeah, uh, that’s in G. “Sugar Tree Stomp.”

[ 25:00 --- 26:00Plays “Sugar Tree Stomp.”]

Interviewer 2: There must be a couple of “Sugar Tree Stomps” I guess.

Bailey: Yeah.

Interviewer 2: [Laughs]

Bailey: That’s the old Arthur Smith version used to play down at Nashville. That’s a radio fiddle player too, Arthur Smith.

Interviewer 2: Yeah.

Bailey: You ever hear of Arthur Smith?

Interviewer: I’ve read the name.

Interviewer 2: They claim he composed to other “Blackberry Blossom” in G, E minor one.

Interviewer: Is that right?

Interviewer 2: But he just laid claim to it.

Bailey: Yeah [unintelligible], I heard them say one night down at the Renfro Valley, said he was in a fiddling big contest down there, and he got up and said, he played “Blackberry Blossom,” he said, “Now I composed that.” And they said he lost the fiddling contest because they knowed he didn’t do it.

Interviewer 2: [Laughs]

Interviewer: They wouldn’t give it to him because he lied.

Bailey: But he was a fine fiddler player.

Interviewer 2: Oh yeah.

Bailey: I’d say that for him.

M.Bailey: Well, tell that other one about you run across in Lexington that told so many. [Laughs].

Bailey: Who was that? Oh that was A.C./Ace Martin.

Interviewer: What about Ace Martin?

Bailey: Poor old Ace is dead and gone, but he---

M.Bailey: What was the piece he told you?

Bailey: He told me he wrote the “Goodnight Waltz” and “Jimmy Crack Corn and I Don’t Care” and all that.

Everyone: [Laughs]

M.Bailey: And that’s probably [unintelligible] that believed him because he was the agricultural teacher---

Interviewer 2: You were able to walk away straight after he was pulling your leg like that?

Bailey: No, I walked away.

Interviewer 2: [Laughs]

M.Bailey: Alfred never did, Alfred never did like Acie. [Recording ends].

Bailey: [Recording begins mid sentence] Get us some water to drink. I’m dry. Tea or something.

M.Bailey: Drink coke or iced tea?

Bailey: Yeah, get them some coke or iced tea; I can’t drink. What do you want?

Interviewer 2: Got a cup of coffee? Real coffee?

Everyone: No. [voices talking at the same time].

Interviewer 2: Maybe a coke then.

M.Bailey: I’ve got Folgers’s coffee, but it’s instant.

Interviewer 2: That’s fine. Instant’s fine, I mean, as long as it’s not decaf. [laughs] That’s what I meant by real coffee. Not---- [many voices talking at the same time].

M.Bailey: Is it decaf? I don’t even drink it, but he’s the one that buys it.

Bailey: It’s decaffeinated then.

Interviewer 2: Coke then.

M.Bailey: I tell you we just had an awful time getting you---

[ 27:00end of recording]


�PAGE �19� ©Kentucky Oral History Commission Kentucky Historical Society