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

Date: May 30, 1993

Source: S1576 , Container 30 , C93-12b, C93-13

Type: Sound

Full Recording:

Download: mp3 | ogg

Music Tracks

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."

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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