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

Date: May 29, 1993

Source: S1576 , Container 30 , C93-10, C93-11, C93-12a

Type: Sound

Full Recording:

Download: mp3 | ogg

Music Tracks

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.

1993 Florida Folk Festival Program

View the 1993 Program

C93-2The Gandy Dancers demonstration at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival Folklife Area (First demonstration)
C93-3"Washboard" Bill Cooke interview at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival Folklife Area
C93-5The Gandy Dancers demonstration at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival Folklife Area (Second demonstration)
C93-7The Gandy Dancers demonstration at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival Folklife Area (First demonstration)
C93-8aGlen Simmons interview at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival Folklife Area
C93-8bCornelius Wright, Jr. & "Washboard" Bill Cooke interview at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival Folklife Area
C93-9aCornelius Wright, Jr. interview at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival Folklife Area
C93-9bAllen Jones interview at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival Folklife Area
C93-9cBilly Howell interview at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival Folklife Area
C93-11The Gandy Dancers demonstration at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival Folklife Area (Second demonstration)
C93-12bThe Gandy Dancers demonstration at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival Folklife Area (First demonstration)
C93-14The Gandy Dancers demonstration at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival Folklife Area (Second demonstration)
C93-17"Washboard" Bill Cooke interview at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival Folklife Area
C93-18Billy Howell interview at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival Folklife Area
C93-19Allen Jones interview at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival Folklife Area
C93-20Elder Brown interview at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival Folklife Area
C93-21Charlie Vinson interview at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival Folklife Area
C93-22John Mealing interview at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival Folklife Area
C93-24"Washboard" Bill Cooke interview at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival Folklife Area (Second interview)
C93-25The Gandy Dancers demonstration at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival Folklife Area (Second demonstration)
C93-27Cornelius Wright, Jr. interview at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival Folklife Area
C93-28aKate Taluga & story swap at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival Storytelling Stage
C93-28bAnnette Bruce & story swap at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival Storytelling Stage
C93-28cChristie Koontz & story swap at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival Storytelling Stage
C93-30aImagine That & story swap at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival Storytelling Stage
C93-30bJohn Drury & story swap at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival Storytelling Stage
C93-31bLinda Spitzer & story swap at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival Storytelling Stage
D93-1Friday performances at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival (Main Stage) (Tape 1)
D93-2Friday performances at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival (Main Stage) (Tape 2)
D93-3Friday performances at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival (Main Stage) (Tape 3)
D93-4Friday performances at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival (Main Stage) (Tape 4)
D93-5Friday performances at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival (Main Stage) (Tape 5)
D93-6Friday performances at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival (Main Stage) (Tape 6)
D93-6Saturday performances at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival (Main Stage) (Tape 1)
D93-7Saturday performances at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival (Main Stage) (Tape 2)
D93-8Saturday performances at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival (Main Stage) (Tape 3)
D93-9Saturday performances at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival (Main Stage) (Tape 4)
D93-10Saturday performances at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival (Main Stage) (Tape 5)
D93-11Saturday performances at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival (Main Stage) (Tape 6)
D93-12Saturday performances at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival (Main Stage) (Tape 7)
D93-13Sunday performances at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival (Main Stage) (Tape 1)
D93-14Sunday performances at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival (Main Stage) (Tape 2)
D93-15Sunday performances at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival (Main Stage) (Tape 3)
D93-16Sunday performances at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival (Main Stage) (Tape 4)
D93-17Sunday performances at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival (Main Stage) (Tape 5)
D93-18Sunday performances at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival (Main Stage) (Tape 6)
D93-19Friday performances at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival (Old Marble Stage) (Tape 1)
D93-20Friday performances at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival (Old Marble Stage) (Tape 2)
D93-21Friday performances at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival (Old Marble Stage) (Tape 3)
D93-22Friday performances at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival (Old Marble Stage) (Tape 4)
D93-23Saturday performances at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival (Old Marble Stage) (Tape 1)
D93-24Saturday performances at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival (Old Marble Stage) (Tape 2)
D93-25Saturday performances at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival (Old Marble Stage) (Tape 3)
D93-26Saturday performances at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival (Old Marble Stage) (Tape 4)
D93-27Sunday performances at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival (Old Marble Stage) (Tape 1)
D93-28Sunday performances at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival (Old Marble Stage) (Tape 2)
D93-29Sunday performances at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival (Old Marble Stage) (Tape 3)
D93-30Sunday performances at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival (Old Marble Stage) (Tape 4)
D93-31Sunday performances at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival (Old Marble Stage) (Tape 5)
D93-32Friday performances at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival (Stage III) (Tape 1)
D93-33Friday performances at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival (Stage III) (Tape 2)
D93-34Friday performances at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival (Stage III) (Tape 3)
D93-35Saturday performances at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival (Stage III) (Tape 1)
D93-36Saturday performances at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival (Stage III) (Tape 2)
D93-37Saturday performances at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival (Stage III) (Tape 3)
D93-38Sunday performances at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival (Stage III) (Tape 1)
D93-39Sunday performances at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival (Stage III) (Tape 2)
D93-40Sunday performances at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival (Stage III) (Tape 3)
D93-41Sunday performances at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival (Stage III) (Tape 4)

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