Audio Recordings Round Town Gals

Format Audio Recordings
Contributors Jabbour, Alan
Jabbour, Karen Singer
Reed, Henry
Dates 1966
Location Giles County
Glen Lyn
United States
Language English
Subjects Appalachian Region
Fiddle Tunes
Field Recordings
Folk Music
Harmonica Music
Instrumental Music
Round Town Gals
Contributor Names
Jabbour, Alan (Transcriber)
Jabbour, Alan (Collector)
Jabbour, Karen Singer (Collector)
Reed, Henry, 1884-1968 (Performer)
Created / Published
Reed family home, Glen Lyn, Giles County, Virginia, June 18, 1966
Subject Headings
-  Instrumental music
-  Fiddle tunes
-  Folk music--Appalachian Region
-  Breakdowns
-  Reels
-  Harmonica music
-  Ethnography
-  Music
-  Field recordings
-  United States -- Virginia -- Giles County -- Glen Lyn
Field recordings
-  Meter: 4/4
-  Compass: 12
-  Key: G
-  Stylistic features: Slurs predominate in bowing.
-  Strains: 2 (low-high?, 4-4)
-  Rendition: 2-1-2r-1r-2r-1 (but may have started on high strain)
-  Phrase Structure: ABAC QBQC (abcb abcd qbcb qbcd)
-  This well-known tune is usually called "Buffalo Gals," though in parts of southwestern Virginia and West Virginia the oldtimers prefer the title Henry Reed gave, "Round Town Gals." It is associated with verses to the effect "Buffalo gals won't you come out tonight and dance by the light of the moon." The title invites localization, and a number of other towns are commemorated in various sets of the song and tune. "Alabama Gals" appeared on an early hillbilly record, influencing its subsequent naming and circulation among some fiddlers. The notes to "Buffalo Girls" in American Fiddle Tunes (Library of Congress, AFS L62) contain additional notes and citations.Accounts of the history of American popular song often cite the composer of the song and tune as a minstrel performer, Cool White, whose song "Lubly Fan" was published in 1843. But a set in Knauff's Virginia Reels (1839), vol. 4, #8, bearing the title "Midnight Serenade: Varied," suggests that it was already in circulation, with similar verses, before it found its way onto the minstrel stage. Indeed, it may be international in origin, for similar tunes have turned up in central Europe (see Bayard, Hill Country Tunes, #1a and 1b).
-  Performed by Henry Reed, fiddle.
-  Performed by Neal Reed, harmonica.
-  Spoken: HENRY REED: [Laughs]/NEAL REED: Hmm, that's, uh . . . ./ALAN JABBOUR: "Buffalo Gals"?/WOMAN: "Round Town Gals."/NEAL REED: "Buffalo Gals."/HENRY REED: Yeah.
-  Recording chronology: 014
-  Duration: 1 minute, 11 seconds
Audio tape
Call Number
AFC 1967/007: AFS 13033B06
Source Collection
Alan Jabbour duplication project, part 1
American Folklife Center
Digital Id

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Alan Jabbour duplication project, part 1 (AFC 1967/007), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Alan Jabbour duplication project, part 2 (AFC 1969/008), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Fiddle tunes of the old frontier: the Henry Reed collection online presentation (AFC 1999/016), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

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