Sounds of the Blue Ridge

Music to Dance To

Big Circle Mountain DancingYes, Going to Solace is a novel, but there’s plenty of real-life life in its pages. My mother’s people (Southerners spread all the way to heck and gone across these United States) favored summers in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Back in the 1960s, when I was a kid, there wasn’t much in the way of TV reception up in those hollows and precious little in the way of radio. In fact, there were only two things to do, six nights out of seven. You could roller skate to a bunch of old 45s and LPs. Or you could square dance. Only we don’t call it “square dancing” where I’m from. It’s big circle mountain dance. Real, live, old-time dancing to a real, live — local –old-time Blue Grass band, the Stoney Creek boys. Glen Bannerman Square Dance CallerAnd who was in charge? A great guy named Glenn Bannerman. That’s him on the upper left with his wife, Evelyn. Glenn called every dance. He taught us the figures, drilled us in clog dancing, kept us moving every night except Sunday. I can’t believe I found the picture of him in action in the middle there. That’s Glenn on the microphone with the Stoney Creek Boys sawing away back in 1977. No doubt I was out on the floor circling left and right at the exact moment this picture was taken… Stoney Creek Boys 2The audio clip below isn’t fancy studio stuff; these are homemade recordings of Glenn calling with the Stoney Creek Boys in the background. What a treasure! By the way, Glenn’s still leading big circle dances, calling and teaching. You can hear him do it right here.