Audio Recording Round Town Gals

About this Item

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/Physical Location
AFC 1967/007: AFS 13033B06
Source Collection
Alan Jabbour duplication project, part 1
American Folklife Center
Digital Id
Online Format

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. Round Town Gals. Reed family home, Glen Lyn, Giles County, Virginia, 1966. Audio.

APA citation style:

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

MLA citation style:

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

More Audio Recordings like this