Guide to the Winans Family Collection of Fiddle Tunes Performed by Jehile Kirkhuff, 1963 - 1964

Summary Information

Title: Winans Family Collection of Fiddle Tunes Performed by Jehile Kirkhuff, 1963 - 1964
Collection: AC.467
Extent: 0.5 linear feet (1 box)
Abstract:

This collection consists of about 80 fiddle tunes and other music performed by Jehile Kirkhuff and recorded on two 7-inch audiotapes. These sound recordings were made at Jehile Kirkhuff's home near the northeastern Pennsylvania community of Auburn for the donor's uncle, John Winans.

Creator: Kirkhuff, Jehile, 1907-1981

Biographical/Historical Note

Born June 16, 1907, into a family of old-time fiddle players, Jehile Kirkhuff lived in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania until his death, at age 73, on March 21, 1981. Kirkhuff, who began playing the fiddle at age five, taught many local fiddlers and knew thousands of fiddle tunes. 400 tunes, collected by Ed and Geraldine Berbaum, are housed at the Library of Congress's Archive of Folk Culture. By his early teens, Kirkhuff began to lose his eyesight and was almost completely blind by age 50. In 1938, he married Lola Stover, an accomplished pianist who was 25 years his senior. She died thirteen years later.

Kirkhuff made his living as an itinerant fiddle player, regularly traveling long distances to perform at barn dances or square dances. His repertoire of "book tunes" and local, unpublished, tunes included Revolutionary War-era tunes, melodies from Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Norway, and Spain, and tunes such as "The Eighth of January," believed to be composed in 1815 to commemmorate Andrew Jackson's victory over the British at the battle of New Orleans.

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of two 7-inch audiotapes containing 80 fiddle tunes and other music performed by Jehile Kirkhuff on two separate occasions (two days before Christmas, 1963, and on January 7, 1964). With the exception of four piano tunes, "Shortnin' Bread," "Lollipops," "Midnight Waltz," and "Three Girls Walking Through the Woods, Singing as they Go," Kirkhuff performs all tunes on fiddle. It is unclear whether Kirkhuff or one of his assistants, Mrs. Shirley E. Roper or Mrs. Flossie Doughton, performs the piano tunes.

According to the donor of this collection, these sound recordings were made at Kirkhuff's home near the northeastern Pennsylvania community of Auburn for the donor's uncle, John Winans, who paid Kirkhuff a sum of money to make the tapes. Prior to his relocation in the early 1940s to Lemon Grove, California, John Winans was a friend and neighbor of Kirkhuff's. The tapes were created approximately twenty years after John Winans moved from Pennsylvania to California. Kirkhuff provides a lively spoken word and musical program for John Winans. With few exceptions, Kirkhuff states the title of each tune before he performs it. Often, he introduces a tune with some additional remarks of a technical nature or an explanation as to why he selected a particular tune, or he offers some other commentary or description. There is not a complete transcription of Kirkhuff's many remarks. However, researchers will find that Kirkhuff's statements have been briefly quoted or paraphrased.

For preservation purposes, a four compact disc set of lossless digital reproductions of the original recordings is available for research use within the Dougherty Reading Room. Listening copies are currently housed with the small collections.

Arrangement

On the first audiotape, recorded two days before Christmas, 1963, the selection and order of tunes seem to follow, with few deviations, a storyline about preparing for and attending a festive gathering. The titles of the first several tunes on Reel 1 suggest the date, location, decorations, and other details. The titles of tunes 14-20 (tracks 14-20) on Disc 1.1 and Tracks 1-4 on Disc 1.2 suggest the types of refreshments one would find at this gathering. The next group of tune titles suggests the setting is a wedding reception. Beginning with Track 9 and continuing through Track 17 (Disc 1.2), the song titles suggest names of individuals, female and male, attending the gathering. The titles of remaining tunes seem to suggest the narrator has left the festivities to continue on his journey, collecting fiddle tunes from various regions along the way. The selection of tunes on the second audiotape, recorded on January 7, 1964, does not seem to follow a storyline in the way the selection of tunes on the first tape does. As he does on the first audiotape, on the second one Kirkhuff performs a variety of types of tunes, including jigs, reels, hornpipes, schottisches, cotillions, polkas, lancers, clogs, and flings. During recording, Kirkhuff used each side of both audiotapes. The recordings heard on tape 1, side 1 were duplicated to Disc 1.1; recordings heard on tape 1, side 2 were duplicated to Disc 1.2; recordings from tape 2, side 1 were duplicated to Disc 2.1; recordings from tape 2, side 2 were duplicated to Disc 2.2. With one exception, each tune has its own track number. Only two tunes share a single track number (Track 12, Disc 2.2).

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for use in the Dougherty Reading Room. An appointment for research is recommended. The Dougherty Reading Room is located on the 4th floor of Belk Library in Special Collections. As a preservation measure, listening copies of the original recordings are available for research use within the Dougherty Reading Room. The listening copies are currently housed with the small collections. Researchers desiring a copy for their own use outside of the repository should consult the Application for Duplication of Closed Collection Materials information on the Special Collections website.

Acquisitions Information

The recordings were donated to the W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection by Lynn Joseph Winans, January 2008. The collection's accession number is AC.2008.082. It was opened to the public in May, 2009.

Processing Information

Processed by Simms Toomey, March, 2009; Encoded by Simms Toomey, May, 2009

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], AC.467: Winans Family Collection of Fiddle Tunes Performed by Jehile Kirkhuff, W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC, USA.

Container List

Collection 467. Winans Family Collection of Fiddle Tunes Performed by Jehile Kirkhuff, 1963-1964
This four CD set of listening copies of the original recordings is housed in a folder with the small collections. The listening copies were created in March, 2009. With the exception of four piano tunes, "Shortnin' Bread" (Disc 2.1, Track 4), "Lollipops," "Midnight Waltz," and "Three Girls Walking Through the Woods, Singing as they Go" (Disc 2.1, Tracks 3-5), Kirkhuff performs all tunes on fiddle. Notes on Kirkhuff's remarks regarding a particular tune will appear above the tune's title, since listeners will usually hear him making such remarks prior to announcing the tune's title. Tune titles appear in quotation marks. When Kirkhuff simply states the title of the tune before performing it, the title alone will appear with the corresponding track number. On rare occasions, the tune title is either completely indecipherable, was cut out during the original recording session, or Kirkhuff does not announce it; in these cases, "Title unknown" appears where the tune title would normally appear. Each track's length is shown in parentheses to the right of each track number. For instance, Track 1 on Disc 1.1 is four minutes and fifteen seconds (04:15) long.
   
    Disc 1.1
Folder  
1 of 1   Disc 1.1 contains 64 minutes of sound or 20 fiddle tunes duplicated from side 1 of the first reel. Each tune recorded on this disc has a corresponding track number. The final track on this disc, track 21, is 6 seconds long.
   
    Track 1 of 21 (04:15)
   
       
        Kirkhuff addresses friend, John Winans, for whom he is recording these fiddle tunes as a Christmas gift.
        "Eighth of January."
   
    Track 2 of 21 (02:48)
   
       
        Kirkhuff's introductory remarks on the second tune begin at the end of Track 1 and continue through the first several seconds of Track 2.
        "Rambler's Hornpipe"
   
    Track 3 of 21 (03:27)
   
       
        "Year of Jubilee"
   
    Track 4 of 21 (04:35)
   
       
        Kirkhuff explains some technical aspects of this tune composed by [Gary?] Mills.
        "Barn Dance"
   
    Track 5 of 21 (03:12)
   
       
        Kirkhuff introduces "Miller's Reel," notes that it is sometimes referred to as "Spirit of 1880."
        "Miller's Reel"
   
    Track 6 of 21 (03:02)
   
       
        Kirkhuff introduces his first "decorative number," continuing on the theme of preparing for a festive occasion.
        "The Flowers of Edinburgh"
   
    Track 7 of 21 (03:03)
   
       
        Kirkhuff introduces this tune as "a nice little decoration," continuing the theme.
        "The Ivy Leaf Reel"
   
    Track 8 of 21 (03:24)
   
       
        Kirkhuff describes money musk as a "decoration of oak leaves placed on the altar."
        "Money Musk"
   
    Track 9 of 21 (03:09)
   
       
        Kirkhuff refers to "Cuckoo's Nest" as a good place to "put that mockingbird" (perhaps referring to the next tune).
        "Cuckoo's Nest"
   
    Track 10 of 21 (04:02)
   
       
        Performed with Charles Dalmain's introduction.
        "The Mockingbird"
   
    Track 11 of 21 (02:24)
   
       
        "A nice decoration for the old red barn."
        "The Maid on the Green"
   
    Track 12 of 21 (03:06)
   
       
        An Irish tune.
        "The [Little?] Sheaf of Barley"
   
    Track 13 of 21 (01:53)
   
       
        Refers to recording of "Blue Ribbon" on another tape. "Blue Ribbon" may be one of the tunes for which there is no introduction (Disc 1.2, Track 1; Disc 2.2, Track 1), or one of the few tunes whose title was indecipherable.
        "The White Cockade"
   
    Track 14 of 21 (03:31)
   
       
        Kirkhuff: "Now, after the decorations, let's see what we can do about the refreshments... Get your mixing spoon ready, we'll really slop this one up!"
        "Buckwheat Batter"
   
    Track 15 of 21 (04:29)
   
       
        "Dill Pickles Rag"
   
    Track 16 of 21 (05:10)
   
       
        Kirkhuff: "A nice old-time refreshment."
        "Maple Sugar"
   
    Track 17 of 21 (01:35)
   
       
        "Little Brown Jug"
   
    Track 18 of 21 (02:12)
   
       
        Kirkhuff: "Here is a very strange mixture of drinks, buttermilk and cider. Real hillbilly."
        "Buttermilk and Cider"
   
    Track 19 of 21 (03:35)
   
       
        Kirkhuff: "I'm worried about this one, mixing up so many drinks."
        "The Blackberry Quadrille"
   
    Track 20 of 21 (01:54)
   
       
        "Clementine's Barrel"
   
    Track 21 of 21 (00:06)
   
       
        Background noise in recording studio.
   
    Disc 1.2
Folder  
1 of 1   Disc 1.2 contains 25 fiddle tunes duplicated from side 2 of the first reel.
   
    Track 1 of 25 (04:34)
   
       
        Track 1 begins immediately with fiddle tune. Kirkhuff's usual introduction or commentary is missing. Introduction of the following tune, "Connolly's Ale," begins at the end of Track 2.
        Title unknown
   
    Track 2 of 25 (00:39)
   
       
        Kirkhuff continues introducing "Connolly's Ale."
   
    Track 3 of 25 (02:34)
   
       
        "Connolly's Ale."
   
    Track 4 of 25 (03:32)
   
       
        Kirkhuff concludes the refreshment theme with this tune composed by Cece McAckron.
        "Rippling Waters Jig"
   
    Track 5 of 25 (02:33)
   
       
        Selects this tune from Spain to illustrate that old-time music comes from everywhere.
        "Patronella"
   
    Track 6 of 25 (02:37)
   
       
        Tune is from "bonny Scotland."
        "Haste to the Wedding"
   
    Track 7 of 25 (02:43)
   
       
        This tune is from Wales.
        "Speed the Plow"
   
    Track 8 of 25 (03:10)
   
       
        Kirkhuff: "Well, now, after that wedding that we attended, we ought to see how the newlyweds are getting along."
        "The Newlyweds' Reel"
   
    Track 9 of 25 (02:18)
   
       
        Kirkhuff: "We've got to get people invited. We have the place, the time, the decorations, the refreshments, but we're weak on the people. Here is Miss Johnson; let's see what you think of her."
        "Miss Johnson's Hornpipe"
   
    Track 10 of 25 (02:48)
   
       
        "Miss Brown's Reel"
   
    Track 11 of 25 (02:47)
   
       
        "Pretty Kate Clog"
   
    Track 12 of 25 (01:46)
   
       
        "Sally [Gooden?]"
   
    Track 13 of 25 (02:49)
   
       
        "Saint Anne's Reel"
   
    Track 14 of 25 (02:21)
   
       
        "Little Judy's Reel"
   
    Track 15 of 25 (02:15)
   
       
        Kirkhuff: "Now we have quite a few gals. Let's get some boys!"
        "The Sailor's Hornpipe"
   
    Track 16 of 25 (02:28)
   
       
        "Soldier's Joy"
   
    Track 17 of 25 (02:19)
   
       
        "Charlie Mack's Jig"
   
    Track 18 of 25 (02:54)
   
       
        Kirkhuff: "Let's think for a moment about some of those old dirt roads that are travelled over as we listen to..."
        "Stony Point Reel"
   
    Track 19 of 25 (02:45)
   
       
        Travels take us to Scotland.
        "Dundee Hornpipe"
   
    Track 20 of 25 (02:44)
   
       
        Proceeding on to England, 1858. While acknowledging that John dislikes popular music, Kirkhuff chooses a "pop" tune anyway.
        "Pop Goes the Weasel"
   
    Track 21 of 25 (02:19)
   
       
        1870s.
        "Up Navy Balloon Boys Schottische"
   
    Track 22 of 25 (03:38)
   
       
        "Rochester Schottische"
   
    Track 23 of 25 (01:48)
   
       
        Kirkhuff: "Here comes the little Indian maid."
        "Red Wing"
   
    Track 24 of 25 (03:19)
   
       
        Norway on Christmas Day
        "[?] Waltz"
   
    Track 25 of 25 (00:48)
   
       
        Kirkhuff makes some concluding remarks.
   
    Disc 2.1
Folder  
1 of 1   Disc 2.1 contains 20 tunes duplicated from side 1 of the second reel. Each tune recorded on this disc has a corresponding track number. With the exception of one tune, "Shortnin' Bread," played on piano, all tunes are performed on fiddle.
   
    Track 1 of 20 (03:54)
   
       
        Kirkhuff addresses John Winans, for whom he is recording these fiddle tunes. Gives date as January 7, 1964. Remarks on set-up in recording studio.
        "Liberty Two Step"
   
    Track 2 of 20 (03:45)
   
       
        Kirkhuff jokes, "There, I guess I took liberties with that one," in reference to previous tune before introducing second song.
        "Lord James MacDonald's Highland Fling"
   
    Track 3 of 20 (02:41)
   
       
        Tune from "bonny Scotland," also called "We'll Make the Keel Roll."
        "Mary Made the Keel Roll"
   
    Track 4 of 20 (02:37)
   
       
        First of several tunes Kirkhuff plays on piano. (All other piano tunes are on Disc 2.2.)
        "Shortnin' Bread"
   
    Track 5 of 20 (05:20)
   
       
        Returns to playing "the violin."
        "Under the Double Eagle March"
   
    Track 6 of 20 (03:15)
   
       
        "Jenny Lind Polka"
   
    Track 7 of 20 (02:59)
   
       
        This tune is also known as "Alleyman Three" and "Five Hands Around."
        "Why Can't A White Man Dance Like A Nigger?"
   
    Track 8 of 20 (03:19)
   
       
        Kirkhuff: "Let's monkey up the integration problem a little bit more with..."
        "The Monkey's Wedding"
   
    Track 9 of 20 (03:41)
   
       
        Begins series of tunes in waltz time.
        "The Mountaineer's Waltz"
   
    Track 10 of 20 (03:11)
   
       
        "An old-time French waltz"
   
    Track 11 of 20 (04:31)
   
       
        Old-time violin arrangement for this waltz.
        "Over the Waves Waltz"
   
    Track 12 of 20 (03:41)
   
       
        Kirkhuff introduces Mrs. Shirley E. Roper, his engineer, to John Winans. Kirkhuff requests Mrs. Roper's permission to play a tune for John that Kirkhuff composed for Mrs. Roper. Mrs. Roper gives permission, only "if he [John] will send me an avocado."
        "The Mink Rancher's Waltz"
   
    Track 13 of 20 (03:18)
   
       
        Southern U.S.
        "The Spirit of Virginia"
   
    Track 14 of 20 (03:03)
   
       
        Indicates he has to leave one word out of the title.
        "The Old Woman in the Haymow"
   
    Track 15 of 20 (01:58)
   
       
        Revolutionary War-era
        "On the Road to Boston"
   
    Track 16 of 20 (03:40)
   
       
        "The Texas Cattle Call"
   
    Track 17 of 20 (02:08)
   
       
        "Professor Stell's Quadrille"
   
    Track 18 of 20 (02:38)
   
       
        Kirkhuff describes this tune as "homely, commonplace, common as an old shoe."
        "Shelton's Quadrille"
   
    Track 19 of 20 (02:10)
   
       
        "Fargo Quadrille"
   
    Track 20 of 20 (02:26)
   
       
        Southern U.S.
        "Way Down Yonder"
   
    Disc 2.2
Folder  
1 of 1   Disc 2.2 contains 18 tunes duplicated from side 2 of the second reel. With the exception of three tunes, "Lollipops," "Midnight Waltz," and "Three Girls Walking Through the Woods, Singing as they Go," played on piano, all tunes are performed on fiddle.
   
    Track 1 of 18 (01:57)
   
       
        Track 1 begins immediately with fiddle tune. Kirkhuff's usual introduction and/or commentary is missing.
        Title unknown
   
    Track 2 of 18 (03:04)
   
       
        Kirkhuff begins introducing next tune, a lancer, and discusses some of its technical aspects. Kirkhuff does not provide a title.
        Title unknown
   
    Track 3 of 18 (05:29)
   
       
        Kirkhuff introduces Mrs. Flossie [Doughton?] to John Winans. In a rehearsed way, Flossie states she would like to visit John's ranch someday and eat some of his avocados, then giggles. Kirkhuff selects "Lollipops" for Mrs. Winans, an English teacher, and her students. It is not clear whether Kirkhuff is playing this tune and the next two on piano, or if one of his assistants, Flossie or Shirley Roper, is playing.
        "Lollipops"
   
    Track 4 of 18 (03:06)
   
       
        Piano.
        "Midnight Waltz"
   
    Track 5 of 18 (03:26)
   
       
        Piano.
        "Three Girls Walking through the Woods, Singing as they Go"
   
    Track 6 of 18 (02:42)
   
       
        Kirkhuff indicates he is preparing to call a square dance.
        "When They Played the Polka"
   
    Track 7 of 18 (07:10)
   
       
        Features Kirkhuff singing and playing the fiddle, as if calling a square dance.
        "The First Two Ladies Cross Over"
   
    Track 8 of 18 (04:54)
   
       
        Another square dance call.
        Title unknown.
   
    Track 9 of 18 (05:14)
   
       
        Continues calling.
        "Nellie Grey"
   
    Track 10 of 18 (03:10)
   
       
        Kirkhuff indicates he has not called square dances in several years due to asthma.
        "Beautiful Suwanee Hornpipe"
   
    Track 11 of 18 (03:13)
   
       
        "Land League"
   
    Track 12 of 18 (05:23)
   
       
        This track contains two separate fiddle tunes.
        "The Golden Tresses" and "The [Thunder? London?] Hornpipe"
   
    Track 13 of 18 (03:03)
   
       
        A Welsh marching tune. Kirkhuff notes that the Scots have a similar one called "Scotland the Brave."
        "Come to the Fair"
   
    Track 14 of 18 (02:45)
   
       
        War of 1812-era
        "Shores of Lake Erie"
   
    Track 15 of 18 (02:10)
   
       
        Kirkhuff: "We're through with fancy stuff for now. We'll go back to the old-time [tales?]".
        "The Drunken Sailor"
   
    Track 16 of 18 (04:51)
   
       
        Medley of tunes from "bonny Scotland." Title of medley indecipherable.
        Medley
   
    Track 17 of 18 (02:11)
   
       
        "[Cherry?] River Line"
   
    Track 18 of 18 (00:33)
   
       
        Kirkhuff speaking (concluding remarks).