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Audio Recording [West Virginia Gals]

[West Virginia Gals]

About this Item


  • [West Virginia Gals]


  • 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


  • -  Instrumental music
  • -  Fiddle tunes
  • -  Folk music--Appalachian Region
  • -  Breakdowns
  • -  Reels
  • -  Ethnography
  • -  Music
  • -  Field recordings
  • -  United States -- Virginia -- Giles County -- Glen Lyn


  • Ethnography
  • Music
  • Field recordings


  • -  Meter: 4/4
  • -  Strains: 2 (high-low, 4-4)
  • -  Compass: 15
  • -  Key: A
  • -  Rendition: tag-1r-2r-1r-2r-1r-2r-tag
  • -  Phrase Structure: AAAB QRQ'B' (abab abcd qrst qr'c'd')
  • -  Stylistic features: Lively tempo, slurs in bowing. On the third time through, second strain, his bow catches on the fiddle instead of the G-string, causing a momentary blank space. He complained about this later. Someone picks up a guitar and trying it out in the background.
  • -  The tune appears to be an instrumental version of a song known in older Appalachian tradition (see Sharp, English Folk Songs from the Southern Appalachians, vol. 2, 6, #75-A, "If You Want to Go A-Courting") and recorded on early hillbilly records. Though Henry Reed gave the tune no title, the Hollow Rock String Band recorded it as "West Virginia Gals" (Rounder 0024), the title which is adopted here. The song typically repeats the final phrase, making a five-phrase tune. The high strain of the fiddle tune corresponds to the song, though it eliminates the repeated fourth phrase, and the low strain is a kind of arpeggiated filler.
  • -  Title change: The title appeared in the fieldnotes as "Unnamed."
  • -  Spoken: [before tune]/ALAN JABBOUR: How about that first tune. Do you remember it yet? . . . It was in A and it was sort of minor.[after tune]/ALAN JABBOUR: Oh, that's a good tune. You never could think of the name of it, you say?/HENRY REED: No, I don't know.
  • -  Recording chronology: 001
  • -  Duration: 2 minutes
  • -  Performed by Henry Reed, fiddle.


  • Audio tape

Call Number/Physical Location

  • AFC 1967/007: AFS 13034B29

Source Collection

  • Alan Jabbour duplication project, part 1


  • American Folklife Center

Digital Id

Online Format

  • audio

Rights & Access

The Library of Congress is not aware of any U.S. copyright protection (see Title 17, U.S.C.) or any other restrictions in the material in this collection, except as noted below. Users should keep in mind that the Library of Congress is providing access to these materials strictly for educational and research purposes. The written permission of the copyright owners and/or other holders of rights (such as publicity and/or privacy rights) is required for distribution, reproduction, or other use of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use or other statutory exemptions. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item and securing any necessary permissions ultimately rests with persons desiring to use the item. See our Legal Notices for additional information and restrictions.

The Center asks that researchers approach the materials in this collection with respect for the culture and sensibilities of the people whose lives, ideas, and creativity are documented here. Researchers are also reminded that privacy and publicity rights may pertain to certain uses of this material.

Photographs in this collection produced by Carl Fleischhauer, Karen Singer Jabbour, and Kit Olson are reproduced here with their permission. Mr. Fleischhauer does not object to additional use of the photos he created provided he is credited as the photographer. Persons contemplating other kinds of uses or use of the other photographers' work should contact the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

Credit line

Please cite the source collection title, collection number, and repository, for example:

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

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Jabbour, Alan, Alan Jabbour, Karen Singer Jabbour, and Henry Reed. West Virginia Gals. Reed family home, Glen Lyn, Giles County, Virginia, 1966. Audio.

APA citation style:

Jabbour, A., Jabbour, A., Jabbour, K. S. & Reed, H. (1966) West Virginia Gals. Reed family home, Glen Lyn, Giles County, Virginia. [Audio] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Jabbour, Alan, et al. West Virginia Gals. Reed family home, Glen Lyn, Giles County, Virginia, 1966. Audio. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.