Collected by James S. A. Collins, Daniel I. Hall, and Thommie D. Herndon For M. C. Parler
Played by Mr. Raymond Martin and Mr. Dean Ramsay Prairie Grove, Arkansas November 13, 1960
Reel 372 Item 14
"When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder" (A Fiddle Tune)Dan: Dean, I imagine your fingers are starting to get a little sore here,
aren't they? How long has it been since you've played?
Dean: Five or six years, anyway.
Dan: Oh? You sure couldn't tell it.
Dean: Been eight years since me and Raymond played.
Thom: Oh? You sure couldn't tell it. It only seems like you all were
playing together yesterday—the way you hit it right off. Did they used to have these dances about once a week, or once a month, or what? Ray: Yeah, once or twice a week.
Thom: Once or twice a week.
J. I. Hall: Just according to the weather, and time of the year.
Dan: And according to what kind of work you had to do.
Dan: In summer time you didn't get around to it too much, did you? Work all
day and play all night.
We certainly have enjoyed getting together with you all here. This is really some fine music. I think everyone here has enjoyed theirself. Thom: That (is) the first time I've heard just fiddling, you know, and a
guitar get together—more or leas.
Dan: Did you all usually just sit around and play, or did they dance too?
Dean: No. They danced.
Ray: One, two, three, four, or five of us would get together and form a band.
Thom: You all had a string band? Can you name off the other fellows that were
members of this little band you all had?
Ray: Wesley, Dean, Gordon Reed, and me.
Thom: What instrument did they play, now?
Dean: My brother played the guitar, Wesley. Gordon played the guitar—he was
the vocalist. He sang quite a bit.
Dan: Sounds like the women have a conversation of their own going on in the
back room, back there. Is there anything the rest of you all have got to add now?
Thom: I think that's just about everything. Looks like we are just about to
run out of tape here.
Dan: Well, I think Dad's just about to holler "It's cow milking time",
Thom: Milking time?
Dan: Just plain old milking time.
Thom: Well, we better cut it off if it (is) milking time, then.
Ray: "Milk Cow Boogie."Otto Davis
Otto Eugene Davis was born near Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1926. While he was quite young his folks moved near Hot Springs, Arkansas, and beside the Ouachita River in a little community known as Possum Kingdom, Arkansas. It was hero in the Possum Kingdom community that Otto grew into young man- hood. He learned to play the guitar and often went in near-by musicals where he learned most of the songs he knows. He lived there with his folks until 1944 when he joined the army.
After World War 2 was over, Otto returned in Hot Springs. Soon afterwards (1946) he married and he and his wife moved in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. At Arkadelphia, Otto attended Ouachita Baptist College for three years. After leaving Ouchita Baptist College, Otto went in work at the Pine Bluff Army Arsenal, Pine Bluff, Arkansas.
Otto left the Pine Bluff Army Arsenal in 1956 and moved to Muskogee,
Oklahoma. He is currently employed as the aircraft dispacther at Davis Field, Muskogee, Oklahoma. Davis Field is an Air Force Reserve Base. It was at Davis Field where we first met Otto and learned of his knowledge of folksongs.
Raymond Martin was born approximately three miles north of the community of HOg Eye, on the Old Wire Road, in 1910. His father,
Boss Martin, was a farmer who later went to Ft. Smith and entered the real estate business. Raymond lived with his parents until they separated: then he lived with his uncle, Oscar Carney, who lived just east of Hog Eye. Raymond attended Shady Grove school through the eighth grade, where his formal education ended.
In 1923, Raymond married Goldie McClelland, who was born and raised at Hog Eye. He has worked in the produce business in Liberal, Kansas, and with a lumber yard in Prairie Grove, Arkansas. He is presently a truck driver for a firm in Rogers, Arkansas.
Raymond has played the fiddle since he made his first one out of a cigar box when he was eight years old. He has never had any formal music training, but has a natural talent for playing the fiddle. He has played at numerous gatherings and dances in this area in his younger days.
Raymond presently lives in Prairie Grove, Arkansas, with his wife, Goldie. Their only child, Connie, is married and lives with her husband in Prairie Grove, Arkansas.101 Dean Ramsey
Dean Ramsey was born at Illinois Chapel, a community three miles east of Prairie Grove, Arkansas. He attended the first eight years of school at Illinois Chapel, and went to Prairie Grove for his high school years.
Dean married Grace Maddox, from Illinois Chapel, in 1920, and had four sons. The oldest., Billy, in 28 and a graduate of the University of Arkansas. Dean and Grace still live in Illinois Chapel, with the two younger boys; Dean's occupation is farming.
Dean is the middle of three children, with an older sister and a younger brother. His younger brother, Wesley, has a string band which plays locally under the name of The Rythmn Wranglers. Dean has played with Wesley at various times, and his son, Billy, often singe with Wesley's band at dances.
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