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Audio Recording Cripple Creek

Cripple Creek

About this Item


  • Cripple Creek


  • 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, July 17, 1967


  • -  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
  • -  Key: A
  • -  Compass: 11
  • -  Strains: 2 (high-low, 4-2)
  • -  Performed by Henry Reed, fiddle.
  • -  Rendition: 1-2r-1r-2r-1r-2r
  • -  Phrase Structure: ABA'C QC' (abac a'bde qrde)
  • -  Spoken: [before tune]/ALAN JABBOUR: Well, now I know a tune that I've heard you play, but I never bothered to--never got around to recording it; that's "Cripple Creek." Maybe you . . . ./HENRY REED: [Laughs]. Nettie used to dance that when I played it./NETTIE REE
  • -  Recording chronology: 162
  • -  Duration: 2 minutes, 55 seconds
  • -  "Cripple Creek" is so widespread in the twentieth century that it seems as if it must be very old, and its occurrence as a song, in play-parties, and in dance music reinforces the sense of antiquity and ubiquity. In addition to the original distribution of the tune, bluegrass banjo versions in the last half of the twentieth century have recycled it to new audiences. But the tune may not be so old. There was a gold strike in Cripple Creek, Colorado, in the 1890s, and since there seem to be no versions of the song or tune antedating the gold strike, it is reasonable to presume that it inspired the song. Henry Reed's story of first hearing it from a Texan in the coal country along Tug Fork, where he and his brother were working around 1900, fits neatly with the presumption that the song and tune arrived around then from further west.


  • Audio tape

Call Number/Physical Location

  • AFC 1969/008: AFS 13705B10

Source Collection

  • Alan Jabbour duplication project, part 2


  • 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. Cripple Creek. Reed family home, Glen Lyn, Giles County, Virginia, 1967. Audio.

APA citation style:

Jabbour, A., Jabbour, A., Jabbour, K. S. & Reed, H. (1967) Cripple Creek. Reed family home, Glen Lyn, Giles County, Virginia. [Audio] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Jabbour, Alan, et al. Cripple Creek. Reed family home, Glen Lyn, Giles County, Virginia, 1967. Audio. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.