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Chicken Charlie Help: stories (26) RE: Help: stories 26 Jun 01

My group's alto singer doubles as a storyteller, a thing she got into while teaching and still does very occasionally for churches, libraries, etc. Being tradists, we tend to get into so much background on the songs that we hesitate to add stories as well, but every once in a while one sneaks in. It's also hard to find a venue where 30-second-sound-bite generation listeners will sit still for the fourth verse of anything, let alone a story. Still, I have found some interesting anecdotes re. "Dixie" and "Marching thru GA" that I use as intros, essentially killing two birds w/1 rock.

I have a personal favorite from Mexican Rancho days in California which is a three-in-one sort of Decameron deal. Too long for a post, but the gist is that a one-eyed man and his one-legged companion seek shelter at a hacienda, where the only empty room is the one in which the late lamented Don Pepe, who fell from his horse that morning, has been laid out. The two tell each other outrageous stories about how they lost the eye and the leg, whereupon Don Pepe sits up and says, "Boys, if you keep telling lies like that, I'm going somewhere else." I used that at a "Cowboy Poetry" venue where there was as much emphasis on reciting stories and poems as on singing.

There are tapes/CDs of Appalachian folk tales out there, if anybody is minded to give this genre a try.


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