The Gandy Dancers at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival

236930
Date
1993-05
Collection
Florida Folklife Collection
Description
One video tape (also copied onto a SONY mini Video8). Features the Gandy Dancers demonstrating work songs used when laying rail track. Also features CSX workers preparing the tracks at the festival used in the demonstration.
Type
Moving Image
demonstrating work songs used when

Video recording of the 1984 Florida Folk Festival (Video 1 of 15)

240879
Date
05/25/1984 - 05/27/1984
Collection
Florida Folklife Collection
Type
Moving Image
Item ID
V84-1
singing shantey and work songs

Preparing railroad tracks for Gandy Dancers at 1993 Florida Folk Festival

236924
Date
1993-05-25
Collection
Florida Folklife Collection
Description
Thirty color slides. Gandy dancers were railroad workers who used call-and-response work songs to keep workers moving fast in laying track. Often called lining songs.
Type
Still Image
-and-response work songs to keep workers

The Gandy Dancers

236932
Date
1993
Collection
Florida Folklife Collection
Description
Two prints: one black and white, the other color. The dancers were: C. Wright, John Mealing, Charlie Vinson, Allen Jones, and Elder Brown. One image also features folklorist Beth Higgs. Gandy dancers were railroad workers who used call-and-response work songs to keep workers moving fast in laying track. Often called lining songs.
Type
Still Image
-and-response work songs to keep workers

Folklife People: The Gandy Dancers

297287
Collection
Florida Folklife Collection
Description
The Gandy Dancers were a group of retired railway workers who gave railway laying demonstrations to educate the public about the culture surrounding the industry. Based out of Birmingham, Alabama, and led by Cornelius Wright Jr., the Gandy Dancers consisted of John Henry Mealing, Allen Jones, Charlie Vinson and Elder Brown Jr. Each member possessed an extensive repertoire of track-lining songs, learned over decades of laying and maintaining tracks in the years before the work was mechanized in the 1950s. The term “gandy dancer” is allegedly a combination of the name of Chicago-based Gandy Manufacturing Company, a maker of track-lining tools, and the description of the railway workers’ dancelike movements. The workers were synchronized by a caller who sang songs and chants, which boosted morale and helped the workers keep in rhythm with one another. The subject matter of these work songs could range from bawdy to Biblical, depending on whether the crews were in the cut or near polite society. Wright and Mealing received National Heritage Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1996 for their work with the Gandy Dancers advocating the importance of railroad folklore and traditions in American culture.
Type
interactive resource
/collections/folklife/people/?id=gandy_dancers

Gandy dancers singing- White Springs, Florida

111155
Date
1993
Collection
Florida Photographic Collection
Image Number
FA5365
-and-response work songs to keep workers

Gandy dancers singing at the Florida Folk Festival - White Springs, Florida

111156
Date
1993
Collection
Florida Photographic Collection
Image Number
FA5366
-and-response work songs to keep workers

Limone Joseph demonstrates polambi

236343
Date
1985-08
Collection
Florida Folklife Collection
Description
Two color slides. The Po lambi was a Haitian musical instrument. The skill was used in rural Haitian villages to signal social gatherings, as work songs, and harvetsing. It is usuaslly played with drums, and is of African origins. For Haitians, it is a symbol of their culture. The Dade Folk Arts Survey was conducted in 1985 and 1986 by folklorists Tina Bucuvalas, Nancy Nusz and Laurie Sommers in order to identify folk arts and folk artists for the special folklife area at the 34th Annual Florida Folk Festival. The traditions are mainly Haitian, Jamaican, Mexican, Bahamian, Cuban and Jewish and cover a wide range of skills and art forms.
Type
Still Image
gatherings, as work songs

1986 Florida Folk Festival (12 of 17)

238618
Date
1986-05-24
Collection
Florida Folklife Collection
Description
One video cassette. (3/4" tape) 20 minutes. Po lambi was used in rural Haitian villages to signal social gatherings, as work songs, and harvesting. It is usuaslly played with drums, and is of African origin. For Haitians, it is a symbol of their culture. For an interveiw with Joseph, see S 1576, T86-58 (C86-101).
Type
Moving Image
Item ID
V86-15
Florida Folklife Program

1986 Florida Folk Festival (14 of 17)

238620
Date
1986-05-24
Collection
Florida Folklife Collection
Description
One video cassette. (3/4" tape) 20 minutes. Video image is dark. Po lambi was used in rural Haitian villages to signal social gatherings, as work songs, and harvesting. It is usuaslly played with drums, and is of African origin. For Haitians, it is a symbol of their culture. For an interveiw with Joseph, see S 1576, T86-58 (C86-101).
Type
Moving Image
Item ID
V86-17
gatherings, as work songs

The Gandy Dancers and other demonstrators at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival

234470
Date
1993-05
Collection
Florida Folklife Collection
Description
Thirty-six color slides. Various performers at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival. Includes twenty slides of African American former railroad employees demonstrating their occupation, known as Gandy dancers. Gandy dancers were railroad workers who used call-and-response work songs to keep workers moving fast in laying track. Often called lining songs. Their exhibit, complete with the railroad tracks, were sponsored by CSX Transportation. The dancers were C. Wright, John Mealing, Charlie Vinson, Allen Jones, and Elder Brown.
Type
Still Image
-and-response work songs to keep workers

The Gandy Dancers at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival

236922
Date
1993-05
Collection
Florida Folklife Collection
Description
One proof sheet with eight black and white images (plus negatives). The dancers were: C. Wright, John Mealing, Charlie Vinson, Allen Jones, and Elder Brown. One image also features folklorist Beth Higgs. Gandy dancers were railroad workers who used call-and-response work songs to keep workers moving fast in laying track. Often called lining songs.
Type
Still Image
-and-response work songs to keep workers

Gandy dancers show how sections of track were realigned

111242
Date
Not after 1993
Collection
Florida Photographic Collection
Image Number
FA5458
Folklife Collection.

Gandy dancers singing- White Springs, Florida

106865
Date
1993
Collection
Florida Photographic Collection
Image Number
FA1510621
-and-response work songs to keep workers

Gandy dancers at the Florida Folk Festival- White Springs, Florida

106868
Date
1993
Collection
Florida Photographic Collection
Image Number
FA1510631
-and-response work songs to keep workers

Gandy dancers performing railroad work at the Florida Folk Festival- White Springs, Florida

106859
Date
1993
Collection
Florida Photographic Collection
Image Number
FA151011
-and-response work songs to keep workers

Gandy dancers performing railroad work at the Florida Folk Festival- White Springs, Florida

106860
Date
1993
Collection
Florida Photographic Collection
Image Number
FA151012
-and-response work songs to keep workers

Gandy dancers performing railroad work at the Florida Folk Festival- White Springs, Florida

106861
Date
1993
Collection
Florida Photographic Collection
Image Number
FA151013
Folklife Collection.

Gandy dancers performing railroad work at the Florida Folk Festival- White Springs, Florida

106866
Date
1993
Collection
Florida Photographic Collection
Image Number
FA1510626
Folklife Collection.

Gandy dancers performing railroad work at the Florida Folk Festival- White Springs, Florida

106867
Date
1993
Collection
Florida Photographic Collection
Image Number
FA1510628
Folklife Collection.

Gandy dancers performing railroad work at the Florida Folk Festival- White Springs, Florida

106869
Date
1993
Collection
Florida Photographic Collection
Image Number
FA1510634
-and-response work songs to keep workers

Interview with shell player Limone Joseph

235132
Date
1985-08-17
Collection
Florida Folklife Collection
Description
One reel to reel tape (also copied onto audio cassette: C86-101). Interview with Po Lambi player (Haitian shell playing). The skill was used in rural Haitian villages to signal social gatherings, as work songs, and during harvesting. It is usually played with drums, and is of African origins. For Haitians, it is a symbol of their culture. He discusses learning po lambi; uses of it; life in rural Haiti; moving to the US (c. 1975); getting degree in Social Sciences; his family's reaction to his learning po lambi; history of the tradition; and teaching Haitian folklife to others. For images of Joseph, see S 1577, v. 41, S86-4721 - S86-4727. The Dade Folk Arts Survey was conducted in 1986 by folklorists Tina Bucuvalas, Nancy Nusz and Laurie Sommers in order to identify folk arts and folk artists for the special folklife area at the 34th Annual Florida Folk Festival. The traditions are mainly Haitian, Jamaican, Mexican, Bahamian, Cuban and Jewish and cover a wide range of skills and art forms. <br />
Type
Sound
Item ID
T86-58
Item ID
C86-101*
http://fpc.dos.state.fl.us/memory/collections/folklife/folklife

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

239387
Date
1993-05-28
Collection
Florida Folklife Collection
Description
One audio cassette recording. The theme for the 1993 Florida Folklife Area was transportation.
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.
Type
sound
Item ID
C93-25
Work songs

Metro-Dade Folklife Area at the 1986 Florida Folk Festival: shell player Limone Joseph

235131
Date
1986-05-24
Collection
Florida Folklife Collection
Description
Seven color slides. Joseph leading a po lambi (Haitian shell playing) workshop. The skill was used in rural Haitian villages to signal social gatherings, as work songs, and harvesting. It is usuaslly played with drums, and is of African origin. For Haitians, it is a symbol of their culture. For an interveiw with Joseph, see S 1576, T86-58 (C86-101). The Dade Folk Arts Survey was conducted in 1986 by folklorists Tina Bucuvalas, Nancy Nusz and Laurie Sommers in order to identify folk arts and folk artists for the special folklife area at the 34th Annual Florida Folk Festival. The traditions are mainly Haitian, Jamaican, Mexican, Bahamian, Cuban and Jewish and cover a wide range of skills and art forms.
Type
Still Image
Item ID
S86-4721 - S86-4727
Miami-Dade Folklife

Folklife People: Jean Ritchie

296316
Date
2015
Collection
Florida Folklife Collection
Description
Appalachian balladeer and folklorist Jean Ritchie possessed a high lonesome sound ornamented with trills and quivers in the “good old way” of her Kentucky forbearers. A member of one of the great Cumberland Mountain ballad-singing families, she was able to learn hundreds of Appalachian ballads and folk songs as part of an oral tradition that stretched back to the British Isles. Often accompanying herself on the lap dulcimer, she brought her repertoire to New York City in the late 1940s, influencing many artists in the Greenwich Village coffeehouse scene. In spite of the fact that she preferred singing unaccompanied, the delicate sound of the dulcimer became one of her signatures, leading to a surge in the use of the instrument among folk music enthusiasts worldwide. Ms. Ritchie also published protest songs about conditions in the mines of Kentucky, and traveled to Britain and Ireland on a Fulbright Scholarship to collect ballads and trace the origins of the Appalachian tunes she knew so well. “The Mother of Folk,” as she was often called, brought ballads and work songs to folk festivals across the country in an effort to preserve and promote the traditional music of her native Appalachia.
Type
interactive resource
and work songs to folk festivals

Bartow Library Program: Ranching and Saddle Making

238292
Date
1983-06-20
Collection
Florida Folklife Collection
Description
Two audio cassettes. Presentation at the Bartow Public Library, in connection with the Pursuits and Pastimes exhibit, on Florida ranching. Folklorist Dyen began with a history of Florida cattle ranching, including fence laws, cowboy music (including songs by Bob Tinsley), stories (including recording of Bone Mizell story by Frog Smith), brands, and tools used. Cauley, a saddle maker, talks about saddles and their construction. He discusses tools and materials used, types and uses of saddles, as well as the life of a cowman, the use of dogs, and the clothing and tools used in the profession.
Type
Sound
Item ID
C83-119
Item ID
C83-120
Work songs

WPA field recordings in Cross City (August 1939 recording expedition)

238028
Date
1939-08
Collection
Florida Folklife Collection
Description
One reel to reel. These recordings were created by Florida folklorist Kennedy and photographer Cook in August 1939. They created a total of sixteen 12-inch acetate records that month. On this recording, turpentine workers in Cross City told stories/jokes and sang work songs. For more detailed information on the recordings, see S 1579, box 3, for copies of the original LOC indexes. The Works Progress Administration (WPA) – after 1939, the Works Projects Administration – was a work-relief program created in 1935 by the Roosevelt Administration that employed over 8.5 million people between 1935 and 1943. One of its programs was the Federal Writers Project (FWP), which included the Folklore Section. This section conducted fieldwork, recording songs, traditions, and stories across the nation. Originally created to gather material for the American Guide Series, but later emphasis was placed upon fieldwork for preservation of folk traditions for future use. In Florida, the FWP was based out of Jacksonville, and directed by historian Carita Doggett Corse. Folklorist Stetson Kennedy directed the Florida Folklife section. Seven recording expeditions were conducted in Florida. Two were conducted between 1935 and 1937, before the creation of the Florida Folklore Section: one by Alan Lomax and Zora Neale Hurston, and the other by John and Ruby Lomax. After 1939, five more were conducted by Florida’s FWP staff: Kennedy, Hurston, Robert Cook, Alton Morris, Corse, Robert Cornwell, John Filareton, and Herbert Halpert (of the Joint Committee on Folk Art’s Southern Recording Expedition.) Recording equipment was loaned to Florida’s WPA program by the Library of Congress’ Archive of the American Folk Song (later the American Folk Center). The field recordings were made on acetate disks, usually recorded at 78 rpm (although occasionally at 33 rpm). Because these disks were shipped from Washington DC to Florida, then to the recording site, and then back to Washington, these disks often were not of the highest sonic quality. Several had surface scratches and many had various recording speeds. In 1986, the FFP staff made copies of many of these recordings onto reel to reels for inclusion to the Florida Folklife Archive. The originals are still housed with the Library of Congress.
Type
Sound
Item ID
T86-257
http://fpc.dos.state.fl.us/memory/Collections/folklife/folklife

Gandy dancers and Folk Festival staff - White Springs, Florida

111154
Date
1993
Collection
Florida Photographic Collection
Image Number
FA5364
-and-response work songs to keep workers

Gandy dancers and friends - White Springs, Florida

111157
Date
1993
Collection
Florida Photographic Collection
Image Number
FA5367
Folklife collection

Gandy dancers and friends - White Springs, Florida

111158
Date
1993
Collection
Florida Photographic Collection
Image Number
FA5368
Folklife collection

Narrow Your Results

Collection

Florida Photographic Collection
[X]
Florida Folklife Collection
[X]

Tip: The most accurate way to search is to identify phrases within your query.

Example: "Kingsley Plantation" "Fort George Island"