9 items found
Collection ID is exactly "1" AND Tradition Bearer is exactly "Brown, Elder"
Sorted by Title
Elder Brown interview at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival Folklife Area

Elder Brown interview at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival Folklife Area

Date
1993-05-30
Description
One audio cassette. NKwanda Jah is the interviewer. Brown, a member of the Gandy Dancers from Birmingham, Ala., discusses his work on the railroads. He gives his family background. The tape starts and stops many times.
Collection
Sunday performances at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival (Stage III) (Tape 5)

Sunday performances at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival (Stage III) (Tape 5)

Date
Description
One digital audio tape (DAT). Cornelius Wright, John Mealing, Charlie Vinson, Allen Jones, and Elder Brown discuss Gandy Dancing or railroad tie/rail installing and sing songs related to the work. Wright talks about his background, how he got into rail-laying and the process of rail-laying; the songs match the rhythm of laying rails. The theme for the 1993 Florida Folklife Area was transportation.
Collection
The Gandy Dancers demonstration at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival  Folklife Area (First demonstration)

The Gandy Dancers demonstration at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival Folklife Area (First demonstration)

Date
1993-05-30
Description
Two audio cassettes. Mealing and Wright recieved NEA National Heritage Fellowships in 1996. The Gandy Dancers (Mealing, Jones, Brown, and Wright) sing while demonstrating track lining and spike driving.
On C93-12b, Wright introduces the Gandy Dancers and gives some background on their railway work before the coming of the machine age. He explain the origin of the term "gandy dancer" from the manufacturer of the tubes and rhythmic moves the workers made when lining track. Mealing leads "Good Morning Everybody." Wright describes "railroad coffee" and tells a story illustrating its effects. He gives some more background about his childhood and early years working on the railroad. He emphasizes the importance of the role of women in supporting railway workers. He describes the resolve that railway workers had to have to stick with the job. Wright demonstrates some of the tools used in the labor and explains their purpose. He tells a story about being a "jack boy" and the need for a heart diet. He explains the way the United States has fallen behind in railroad technology. He also explains the physics of how trains stay on the tracks. Wright describes the role of the "caller" in coordinating the labor and motivating the workers through song.
On C93-13, Wright leads track-lining songs based on nursery rhymes and describes the different types of calls, including religious and sexual calls. Mealing leads "I Got a Gal in the White Folks' Yard" and Wright explains the importance of the "dead-eye" in keeping the track straight. Some of the Gandy Dancers take turns leading track lining songs. Wright talks about music in "the cut" as opposed to the more toned down songs sung in the presence of women and children. The Gandy Dancers demonstrate spike driving. Mealing closes the demonstration with "We'll Understand It Better By and By."
Collection
The Gandy Dancers demonstration at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival Folklife Area (First demonstration)

The Gandy Dancers demonstration at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival Folklife Area (First demonstration)

Date
1993-05-28
Description
Two audio cassette recordings. NKwanda Jah serves as emcee. Mealing and Wright recieved NEA National Heritage Fellowships in 1996. The Gandy Dancers (Mealing, Jones, Brown, Vinson and Wright) sing while demonstrating track lining and spike driving.
On cassette C93-1, Wright tells stories from his childhood. Much of his narration is away from the microphone and difficult to hear. He discusses working on the railroad before the advent of modern machinery. The group introduces themselves during the song "Good Evening Everybody." Wright discusses the origin of the term "gandy" and demonstrates elements of railroad work before the machine era, including the use of music in railway work, and the importance of physical strength and coordination in driving a spike. Wright details his role as the "lead spiker" in laying a mile of track per day.
On cassette C93-2, Wright explains what keeps trains on tracks, leveling the tracks, and the role of the "dead-eye." The Gandy Dancers demonstrate tamping the track. Wright discusses the need for geometric and algebraic knowledge in railway work, as well as the use of track gauges. Brown recites a railroad poem.
Collection
The Gandy Dancers demonstration at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival Folklife Area (Second demonstration)

The Gandy Dancers demonstration at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival Folklife Area (Second demonstration)

Date
1993-05-28
Description
Two audio cassette recordings. Mealing and Wright recieved NEA National Heritage Fellowships in 1996. The Gandy Dancers (Mealing, Vinson, Jones, Brown, and Wright) sing while demonstrating track lining and spike driving.
On C93-5, Wright introduces the Gandy Dancers and gives some background about his education and railway work. He explains the importance of women in supporting railway workers. He discusses the way workers were phased out by modern machinery and described the labor involved in working on the railroads. He introduces "Good Evening Everybody," on which Mealing sings the lead vocal line. Wright explains the origin of the term "gandy dancer" and the importance of the "caller" in motivating the railway workers to stay coordinated. He describes and explains the tools, experience, and agility necessary to work on the railroads. He discussed the nature of the track-lining songs sung by the "caller," and expressed the difference between singing in "the cut" and singing around women and children. Jones led "When I Go and Come Again." Wright explains the meaning of "Kinking the Track" and how workers would express themselves and their situation through the music. Mealing leads "The Preacher Song" and "I Got a Gal in the White Folks' Yard." The Gandy Dancers demonstrate driving a railroad spike. Wright discusses his role as the "lead spiker" on the railroads.
On C93-6, Wright tells a story about mistaken identity due to a handkerchief, as well as other family stories from his youth. He describes the different sounds that the train whistles would make to indicate their cargo. He explains the use of sexual songs to excite the railway workers to work harder and faster, the importance of understanding mathematics, physics and chemistry in railway work, and the three things that hold a train on the track: the gauge, flange of the wheel, and the gravitational pull. He explains the modern express trains and their power, and laments the lack of American involvement in the creation of the new technology. At 14:40, Wright demonstrates track leveling, and explains the importance of the elevation of the track on the curves. At 17:41, the Gandy Dancers demonstrate tamping ballast under the ties. At 19:50, Wright explains that workers have a feel that machines lack. At 20:40, he tells a story from 1949 about a caller having to calm his railroad gang down with a song in the presence of women and church goers. At 24:00, Mealing details his singing background in church and the importance of a closing song.
Collection
The Gandy Dancers demonstration at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival Folklife Area (Second demonstration)

The Gandy Dancers demonstration at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival Folklife Area (Second demonstration)

Date
1993-05-29
Description
Three audio cassette recordings. Mealing and Wright received NEA National Heritage Fellowships in 1996. The Gandy Dancers (Mealing, Jones, Vinson, Brown, and Wright) sing while demonstrating track lining and spike driving. Some of the speech his inaudible when the performers walk away from the microphone.
On C93-10, Wright tells a story about going to church and drinking coffee, then introduces the Gandy Dancers. He emphasizes the importance of mathematics, chemistry and physics in railway work. He explains the origin of the term "gandy dancer" and describes the role of the "callers" to motivate the workers through song and keep them focused. He demonstrates and explains the tools necessary for railway work, as well as the differences between American and European track gauges. He describes the various challenges of railway work, including calculating the mathematics necessary to level the track on curves. Mealing leads the Gandy Dancers in "Good Evening Everybody." Wright describes the importance of railroads to American culture, as well as the importance of women to railroad men.
On C93-11, Wright explains the change in decorum of railway workers "in the cut," as opposed to their behavior around women and children. Wright leads "Mary Had a Little Lamb." He then explains the importance of the "dead-eye" in driving spikes, and emphasizes the human element of railway work. The Gandy Dancers perform a number of track-lining songs (including one about the Southern Railway, the Louisville and Nashville Railroad and the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad) and demonstrate spike driving. Wright discusses how crews could be competitive and used songs to antagonize each other. He tells a story about how his mother motivated him to pursue an education, and one about working for the St. Louis–San Francisco Railway in 1949.
On C93-12a, the Gandy Dancers perform "We'll Understand It Better By and By" as their last song. This recording represents the first portion of tape C93-12.
Collection
The Gandy Dancers demonstration at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival Folklife Area (Second demonstration)

The Gandy Dancers demonstration at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival Folklife Area (Second demonstration)

Date
1993-05-28
Description
One audio cassette. Mealing and Wright recieved NEA National Heritage Fellowships in 1996. The Gandy Dancers (Mealing, Jones, Brown, Vinson and Wright) sing while demonstrating track lining and spike driving. Wright explains the strength needed to work on railroads. Mealing leads "Good Evening Everybody." Wright defines the term "gandy dancer" and the role of the "caller." This tape is an alternate recording of C93-5, the Gandy Dancers' second demonstration on May 28, 1993. It is only a seven minute fragment.
Collection
"Washboard" Bill Cooke interview at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival Folklife Area

"Washboard" Bill Cooke interview at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival Folklife Area

Date
1993-05-28
Description
Two audio cassette recordings. NKwanda Jah is the interviewer. On C93-3, Cooke tells stories about traveling the railroads as a hobo during the 1930s; beginning his career as a washboard musician after World War II in 1946; problems with living in Palm Beach; and working for the Seaboard Air Line Railroad, Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, and the Florida East Coast Railroad. He tells a story about working in St. Lucie County for Reid and Lowe Railroad Contractors on the Florida East Coast Railroad, lasting only three days due to the mosquitoes. Some of what Cooke says it difficult to hear due to background noise. Wright and Brown of the Gandy Dancers join the conversation and discuss the differences between the railway workers and the machines used to replace them. Cooke reminisces about the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, his favorite line.
On C93-4, Cooke, the Gandy Dancers, and Jah discuss blues musicians including B.B. King, Elvis Presley, and Mississippi John Hurt. They talk about the African American background of many of Elvis's songs. They also discuss integration in Birmingham and the Apollo Theater; treatment of children in the company "quarters" in the 1940s; pay; foods and their cost of living at that time. The theme for the 1993 Florida Folklife Area was transportation.
Collection
"Washboard" Bill Cooke interview at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival Folklife Area (Second interview)

"Washboard" Bill Cooke interview at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival Folklife Area (Second interview)

Date
1993-05-28
Description
One audio cassette. NKwanda Jah is the interviewer. The tape stops and starts intermittently. Cooke tells stories about busking and buck dancing. Members of the Gandy Dancers can be heard in the background. Cooke tells various stories from his life, including being locked up in Waycross, Georgia for hoboing and working on a chain gang. He recounts his days hoboing before becoming a professional musician. At 15:00, Jah asks Brown about the consequences of African American men talking to white women in Alabama. At 16:30, Cooke discusses how old his instruments are. An audience member asks him to autograph his washboard. Cooke talks about "buck and wing" dancing and being born in Dupont, Fla., and moving to Sanford at eleven years old. He talks about Club Eaton in Eatonville, Fla.
Collection
Identifier Title Type Subject Thumbnail
a_s1576_30_c93-020Elder Brown interview at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival Folklife AreasoundRailroads Employees
Dancers
Folk festivals
Florida Folk Festival
Railroads
Interviews
Railway workers
Oral narratives
African Americans
/fpc/memory/omeka_images/thumbnails/audio.jpg
a_s1576_43_d93-042Sunday performances at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival (Stage III) (Tape 5)SoundSingers
Folk festivals
Folklore revival festivals
Festivals
Special events
Performing arts
Music performance
Singing
Railroad work
Labor
Occupational folklore
Occupational groups
African Americans
Tools
Dancers
Railroads Employees
/fpc/memory/omeka_images/thumbnails/catalog_audio.jpg
a_s1576_30_c93-012bThe Gandy Dancers demonstration at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival Folklife Area (First demonstration)soundFolk festivals
Florida Folk Festival
Music -- Performance
African Americans
Railroads
Work songs
Railway workers
/fpc/memory/omeka_images/thumbnails/audio.jpg
a_s1576_30_c93-001The Gandy Dancers demonstration at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival Folklife Area (First demonstration)soundFolk festivals
Florida Folk Festival
African Americans
Railroads
Railway workers
Music -- Performance
Work songs
Poetry
/fpc/memory/omeka_images/thumbnails/audio.jpg
a_s1576_30_c93-005The Gandy Dancers demonstration at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival Folklife Area (Second demonstration)soundFolk festivals
Florida Folk Festival
African Americans
Railroads
Work songs
Music -- Performance
Railway workers
/fpc/memory/omeka_images/thumbnails/audio.jpg
a_s1576_30_c93-010The Gandy Dancers demonstration at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival Folklife Area (Second demonstration)soundFolk festivals
Florida Folk Festival
Music -- Performance
African Americans
Railroads
Work songs
Railway workers
/fpc/memory/omeka_images/thumbnails/audio.jpg
a_s1576_30_c93-025The Gandy Dancers demonstration at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival Folklife Area (Second demonstration)soundRailroads Employees
Dancers
Singers
Folk festivals
Florida Folk Festival
African Americans
Railway workers
Railroads
Work songs
/fpc/memory/omeka_images/thumbnails/audio.jpg
a_s1576_30_c93-003"Washboard" Bill Cooke interview at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival Folklife AreasoundMusicians
Storytellers
Railway Workers
Folk festivals
Florida Folk Festival
African Americans
Railyway workers
Occupational folklore
Washboards (musical instruments)
Transportation
Hoboes
/fpc/memory/omeka_images/thumbnails/audio.jpg
a_s1576_30_c93-024"Washboard" Bill Cooke interview at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival Folklife Area (Second interview)soundRailroads Employees
Dancers
Singers
Musicians
Folk festivals
Florida Folk Festival
African Americans
Railroads
Oral narratives
Hoboes
/fpc/memory/omeka_images/thumbnails/audio.jpg
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