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Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?

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GUEST,Fred Bailey 25 Nov 12 - 03:37 PM
GUEST,felicia 25 Nov 12 - 09:32 AM
threelegsoman 25 May 11 - 08:29 AM
threelegsoman 25 May 11 - 08:26 AM
SINSULL 13 Jun 00 - 09:24 AM
harpgirl 13 Jun 00 - 12:10 AM
Mark Roffe 17 May 99 - 12:24 AM
harpgirl 15 May 99 - 10:11 AM
Night Owl 14 May 99 - 11:55 PM
harpgirl 14 May 99 - 11:41 PM
CarterNut 14 May 99 - 08:45 PM
harpgirl 14 May 99 - 06:05 PM
Jim in Silver Spring 14 May 99 - 02:18 PM
Night Owl 14 May 99 - 12:57 PM
fern 12 May 99 - 10:01 PM
harpgirl 11 May 99 - 11:00 PM
Judy and Micky 11 May 99 - 02:52 PM
Roger the zimmer 11 May 99 - 02:50 PM
Frank of Toledo 11 May 99 - 02:12 PM
Frank of Toledo 11 May 99 - 02:07 PM
Pete peterson 11 May 99 - 01:48 PM
Roger the zimmer 11 May 99 - 09:41 AM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 11 May 99 - 05:35 AM
bseed(charleskratz) 11 May 99 - 03:23 AM
ddw in windsor 11 May 99 - 12:30 AM
Fern 10 May 99 - 11:23 PM
Sonoma Steve 10 May 99 - 08:29 PM
manylodges 09 May 99 - 11:09 PM
Rick Fielding 08 May 99 - 11:49 PM
Tucker 08 May 99 - 06:52 PM
harpgirl 08 May 99 - 11:31 AM
DonMeixner 07 May 99 - 10:32 PM
Pete Peterson 07 May 99 - 12:33 PM
Banjer 07 May 99 - 04:57 AM
bseed(charleskratz) 07 May 99 - 03:06 AM
Night Owl 07 May 99 - 01:13 AM
ddw in windsor 07 May 99 - 12:29 AM
bseed(charleskratz) 07 May 99 - 12:01 AM
DonMeixner 06 May 99 - 11:44 PM
harpgirl 06 May 99 - 11:08 PM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 06 May 99 - 10:22 PM
ddw in windsor 06 May 99 - 09:29 PM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 06 May 99 - 06:52 AM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 06 May 99 - 06:50 AM
Tom on Comfort 06 May 99 - 02:10 AM
Night Owl 06 May 99 - 01:36 AM
Night Owl 06 May 99 - 01:33 AM
ddw in windsor 06 May 99 - 01:32 AM
harpgirl 05 May 99 - 10:55 PM
bseed(charleskratz) 05 May 99 - 10:41 PM
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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: GUEST,Fred Bailey
Date: 25 Nov 12 - 03:37 PM

I've always "warmed up" with the Australian version of The Girl With the Black Velvet Band


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: GUEST,felicia
Date: 25 Nov 12 - 09:32 AM

The first songs I strummed and sang on my new Chromaharp were Monty Python's 'Eric the Half-a-Bee' and 'Riding Free' from the soundtrack of 'Psychomania' (look it up on Youtube, the lyrics are priceless!)


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: threelegsoman
Date: 25 May 11 - 08:29 AM

Apologies for my stupidity, I seem to have created the same blue clicky twice, the first one should have been:

Autoharp players, songs and tunes I have liked


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: threelegsoman
Date: 25 May 11 - 08:26 AM

Some songs that I have uploaded accompanied on the autoharp


Some songs that I have uploaded accompanied on the autoharp


These are two autoharp playlists on my channel which itself is at:

http://www.youtube.com/user/threelegsoman?feature=mhee


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: SINSULL
Date: 13 Jun 00 - 09:24 AM

Thanks again Harpgirl. I am shutting myself away with my harp and shutting out the world. More trouble than it's worth today.

Just listened to some Bryan Bowers' recordings and all is right with this corner of the world.

SS.


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: harpgirl
Date: 13 Jun 00 - 12:10 AM

reconjure for SINSULL


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: Mark Roffe
Date: 17 May 99 - 12:24 AM

Reading this thread I find myself thinking maybe I'll try to put all those buttons and bars back on mine. I took 'em off and tuned the instrument to some mysterioso minor modally mutated kind of tuning, so folks who claim they're "not musical" can pick it up and tinker with it. Anything plucked on it sounds deep and contemplative. Hard to put it down. But now I want to play some folk music on it again! Hmmmm, I wonder where all those little parts go...a bunch of springs flew out of the bars when I first took it apart....

Mark


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: harpgirl
Date: 15 May 99 - 10:11 AM

NO
'mornin'. Steve's address is Stephen J. Young - 6500 Nancy Road - Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275. I just cvalled him and ordered it directly. But the phone number is not handy...In addition to the Carolan book he has published a book called Old Time Fiddle and Dance Tunes for Autoharp which is excellent. (I meant fiddle fakebook which I write notes in and use to keep up with my fiddling friends..this has been a wonderful thread and I hope to learn lots of new songs...thanks all...harpgirl


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: Night Owl
Date: 14 May 99 - 11:55 PM

John J. Thanks for the words and information on Sweet Fern...AND the web sites....I'm also surprised at the number of Autoharp players here....a welcome surprise!!! harpgirl..THANK YOU for starting this thread....lots of great information for me in it. The "fakebook" you mentioned wouldn"t happen to be an Autoharp Fakebook?? (I have the Guitar fakebook.)


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: harpgirl
Date: 14 May 99 - 11:41 PM

Night Owl,
I see my post didn't make it! But carternut must have read my mind because I wondered if he would know the words! I have Stephen Young's address in my fake book which is locked in the truck in the garage for the night but I will post it tomorrow...harpgirl thanks John J


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Subject: Lyr Add: SWEET FERN (Carter Family)
From: CarterNut
Date: 14 May 99 - 08:45 PM

Hey guys and gals, here are the Carter Family words to "Sweet Fern". As I am kind of a small scale Carter historian and a large scale Carter music enthusiast, I could only find that A.P. found the song on one of his song hunting trips. This was a common song around that area (Eastern Tennessee/Southwestern Virginia) and was usually called "Sweet Birds". Actually, the song was written and copyrighted under the latter title in 1876 by Thomas Westendorf and George Persley. However, A.P. Carter is given credit for writing the song by Ralph S. Peer- A.P. essentially changed the original wording and perhaps even the tune while adding the yodel after each chorus.


SWEET FERN
As recorded by The Carter Family, 1929. (Victor 40126-A, Bluebird 5927, Montgomery Ward 4437)

1. Springtime is coming, sweet lonesome bird,
Your echo in the woodland I hear
Down in the meadow so lonesome you're singing,
While the moonlight is shining so clear.

CHORUS: [But] I know he's away in a far distant land,
A land that's over the sea.
Go fly to him singing your sweet little song
And tell him to come back to me.
Sweet Fern (Sweet Fern), Sweet Fern (Sweet Fern),
Oh, tell me: is my darling still true?
Sweet Fern (Sweet Fern), Sweet Fern (Sweet Fern),
I'll be just as happy as you.

YODEL

2. Oh, tell me, sweet Fern, is he thinking of me
And the promise we made long ago?
He said he'd return from over the sea.
Oh, why do the years go so slow? CHORUS+YODEL

3. Upon my finger, he placed a small ring
On the day he was leaving his home.
I promised I’d be his own dear little girl
And love him wherever he'd roam. CHORUS+YODEL


The Carter Family recorded this song on February 14, 1929, and over the years many of the members have played the song on the autoharp, for instance, Mother Maybelle, Sara, Janette (Sara and A.P.'s daughter), as well as Helen, June, and Anita. Each has their distinctive way of playing it.

Hope I have been some help.
John J.


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: harpgirl
Date: 14 May 99 - 06:05 PM

NightOwl,

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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: Jim in Silver Spring
Date: 14 May 99 - 02:18 PM

I was surprised to find all of the interest in Autoharps at the MudCat.

I am sure that most of you are aware, but for those of you that are not there is a thriving Autoharp virtual world and community on the net.

This includes

The Autoharp Page at http://www.fmp.com/harppage/

The Cyberpluckers e-mail list which can be subscribed to from the Autoharp page

and the Autoharp Web Ring at http://pages.prodigy.net/cah/autoharp/

(Sorry I don't do blue icky things)

If you are interested in Autoharps and their music check these sites out.

(I would have posted this sooner but the Autoharp page was out due to storms in Dallas TX.)

Jim in Silver Spring


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: Night Owl
Date: 14 May 99 - 12:57 PM

harpgirl...did you recieve the correct lyrics for "Sweet Fern"? If so, could you post them and any history of the song you may have learned...is the Carter family recording the original?? You also mentioned "Stephan Young's book of Carolan tunes" do you know if its still available?


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: fern
Date: 12 May 99 - 10:01 PM

Many thanks, Murray. I'll check it out. Fern


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: harpgirl
Date: 11 May 99 - 11:00 PM

Dr. Peterson,
I'm still hoping you'll call again and sing me Sweet Fern over the telephone...sorry I missed your last call...I'll be at the orifice tomorrow (hint,hint)...harpgirl

PS Tucker, When you begin to see autoharps, pay attention! Buy one and write me back!


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: Judy and Micky
Date: 11 May 99 - 02:52 PM

...right here in the barn


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: Roger the zimmer
Date: 11 May 99 - 02:50 PM

's OK, Pete, if you don't pick my nits, how will I ever learn? ...and I might stop scratching my head and wearing my hair too thin!


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: Frank of Toledo
Date: 11 May 99 - 02:12 PM

This is real fun Thread and many great contributions by everyone. My two favorites are Harvey Reid and of course Bryan Bowers. I tend to think that Bryan plays so well with all his fingers a blazin' that, at times it does sound like he's over-produced. In concert he is absolutely awesome...If you get a chance listen to Harvey Reid's recording of 'The Coming Of Winter" with autoharp by Harvey and violin by Brian Silber. On his Woodpecker CD "Overview".....


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: Frank of Toledo
Date: 11 May 99 - 02:07 PM

This is a very interesting and enjoyable thread. I have a lot of BryanB

at it has a tendency to sound a bit technical, yet he's a master and in person he is awesome. Another great is Harvey Reid; his recording of an original called, "The Coming Of Winter", with him on autoharp and Brian Silber on fiddle is a classic. Also I'd like to answer Sonoma Steve. The song Acony Bell was written and performed by Gillian Welch and David Rawlings on her ALM CD "REVIVAL"


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: Pete peterson
Date: 11 May 99 - 01:48 PM

not to pick nits, but it was Malvina Reynolds who wrote Little Boxes; she said she used to write a song a day; Pete S did the definitive recording (and was the only time he had a Top 40 hit!) Can't imagine anything worse than an out of tune poorly played autoharp


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: Roger the zimmer
Date: 11 May 99 - 09:41 AM

The elderly man playing amnplified autoharp in Bracknell shopping centre two Saturdays ago should have read this thread: it was awful whiny muzakky stuff that I couldn't recognise. Sorely tempted to unplug him but the amp was on batteries! Peggy Seeger he wasn't!(For the benefit of non-locals Bracknell is a 1960s "New Town" of the type that must have inspired Pete Seeger's "Little Boxes", and is full of "interesting" office blocks of computer companies). An earlier week there was someone on amplified concert harpplaying light classics. I prefer the usual guitar or sax buskers!


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp? Sweet Fern
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 11 May 99 - 05:35 AM

Fern. You will find the Carter Family version (the original?) of "Sweet Fern" on the album "The Carter Family, My Clinch Mountain Home." It is part of Rounder Records' compplete Carter Family Victor recordings series. The cassette bears the cat. no. C 1065.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 11 May 99 - 03:23 AM

Sounds good to me, Deedeedoubleyou. I'm open for jams whenever and wherever (except my mommy won't let me cross the street without an adult holding my hand [I think Meg Ryan would make a nice baby sitter]). --seed


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: ddw in windsor
Date: 11 May 99 - 12:30 AM

Hey, Seed....

I hadn't checked this thread in a while, so didn't see your posting on your attributes for playing the possum skin. Sounds like you'd fit right in with my band! We could do a musical Mutt & Jeff act, since your sleeve length seems to be about 8 inches longer than the inseam on my pants. And your slow fingers would have plenty of time to keep up with my fat little stubbies trying to hit one string without damping two others. Hell, I'll bet we could plug in and make a helluva punk rock act, whadda ya think?

cheers, ddw


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp? Sweet Fern
From: Fern
Date: 10 May 99 - 11:23 PM

I'm an autoharp player named Fern. It would be great to add "Sweet Fern" to my repetoire. Can someone recommend a songbook or album it's on so I can learn the tune? I use my autoharp mostly for accompaniment--there are only a few songs I actually pick out all the notes. I mostly do folk and traditional music for kids, since kids nowadays just learn Barney and Disney. I teach them the good stuff! I like how you can teach history by singing the songs the people of the time sang.


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: Sonoma Steve
Date: 10 May 99 - 08:29 PM

For what their worth, here are some of my favorite autoharp tunes. "Home Sweet Home" is a fine piece, playing it as simple or as complicated as you wish and it goes well with a guitar. I sometimes play with a (an?) harmonica on a rack. The Ian Tyson song, "The Coyote" sounds really fine on the harp as does "Simple Gifts", especially when it is slowed down a bit. The first song I learned was "Sailor on the Deep Blue Sea" and I still get real pleasure from it.

My especial recent favorite is "Acony Bell". I don't know who wrote it but it goes so well with the words and lyric and is great with simple harmonies.

"The Fairest flower the mountain knows Is not an iris or a wild rose. The sweetest flower of which I'll tell Known as the brave Acony Bell."

However, that's not why I entered the thread. I am looking for the lyrics to Railroading on the Great Divide. I was at the Sonoma County Folk Festival playing on the lawn with pickup groups when someone sang it. It was not the time to get words so I turned to Mudcat hoping to find it. No luck.

Any suggestions?

Steve Petaluma, California


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: manylodges
Date: 09 May 99 - 11:09 PM

one of the sweetest songs we sing at rendezvous is very nice for the autoharp, it is called "two little boys". It gives me chills each time I hear it. also you might do "bringing mary home" its an old appilation song.


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 08 May 99 - 11:49 PM

Hi Harpgirl. What a wonderful thread. I've really been enjoying this. Wanted to ask a question. Did your friend Marty tell you any stories about Woody, or just the scene in general there. I'm fascinated finding out what peoples' impressions of Woody were. Thanks
rick


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: Tucker
Date: 08 May 99 - 06:52 PM

Sorry Harpgirl and I know I am showing my butt and ignorance here. I once talked a guy into buying an autoharp because he didn't want to take the time to learn to play a guitar. Well, I played around with it and I thought it was too complicated for all the trouble it saved (make sense?) I saw folks (folkies) in the 60's play em' but not since then. Not trying to be insulting either, love you all, but I just haven't seen any!


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: harpgirl
Date: 08 May 99 - 11:31 AM

Hi Don,
Marty passed away in 1994. He was with many of his friends and family in a clinic in Beckley, West Virginia and Mike Herr was his physician. His memorial service was at Don Grooms' home in Gainesville when Don was still alive. Marty's daughter is about to have her first baby. I am going to Gainesville tomorrow from down here in North Palm Beach to see her and hope to see the baby before I get home to Tallahassee....harpgirl


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: DonMeixner
Date: 07 May 99 - 10:32 PM

The late Marty Schuman????

Don


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: Pete Peterson
Date: 07 May 99 - 12:33 PM

another really grat autoharp tune is the Shepherds' Wife's Waltz-- is that an O'Carolan tune or does it simply sound like one?! Stone's Waltz (which is not a waltz!) is another one of Pop Stoneman's favorites. In choosing autoharp tunes I find myself going to the old rather uncomplicated choices; course this is becvause Drew Smith and the late wonderful Marty Schuman do the more complicated ones so well. Harpgirl, do you agree? Pete


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: Banjer
Date: 07 May 99 - 04:57 AM

Ah Seed, it seems you have all the prerequisites for banjo playing. (At least the same ones I have) I too play an open back most of the time, and in spite of my "qualifications" (the ones you listed) I enjoy the heck out of my playing and them as don't like it can go to another part of the house!


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 07 May 99 - 03:06 AM

ddw, I (--seed) have gone back mostly to banjo. My left arm is very long as it has to be to match my right arm (37 inch sleeves on both sides). But I play an open back banjo so my lack of concavity doesn't handicap me (only my slow fingers, my even slower kinesthetic memory, my lack of rhythm, and my tin ear do). --seed


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: Night Owl
Date: 07 May 99 - 01:13 AM

ddw...thanks for posting the info...appreciate it.


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: ddw in windsor
Date: 07 May 99 - 12:29 AM

Harpgirl, you surprise me. I thought the prerequisite for playing banjo was a long left arm and a concave chest. :-)

ddw


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 07 May 99 - 12:01 AM

Some I liked to play back before I returned to the banjo:

"When First Unto This Country"

"San Francisco Bay Blues"

"We Shall Overcome"

"Dona Dona Dona"

"Saint James Infirmary"

"Battle Hymn of the Republic"

"Don't Think Twice"

--seed


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: DonMeixner
Date: 06 May 99 - 11:44 PM

Hello Harpgirl

I think that Four Strong Winds is a perfect tune for the autoharp. Ian Tyson's Wild Geese is also excellent as far a instrumentals I would pick Greensleaves and a tune I wrote called Dr. Walter Shorts Reel as a thank you for his sewing my fingers back on and in the right order with no leftovers.

Don.


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: harpgirl
Date: 06 May 99 - 11:08 PM

Murray,
I have that album and that is a good idea. I used to play both those tunes on banjo. But my banjo playing was the butt of too many jokes...I haven't ever done them on the buttonharp but great idea...harpgirl


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 06 May 99 - 10:22 PM

I was just listing to my Folk Legacy tape of Hedy West's "Old Times and Hard Times".

There are a number of songs on that which would go well on the autoharp. In particular the songs "Gamblin Man" and "Brother Ephus"

Murray


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: ddw in windsor
Date: 06 May 99 - 09:29 PM

Hi Night Owl,

Here's the info on that cassette:

Autoharps (Ron Wall & Mark Howard) on the Cumberland label.

Distributed in the U.S. by Benson Music Group Inc., 365 Great Circle Road, Nashville, TN, 37228.

In Canada, by R.G. Mitchell Family Books, 565 Gordon Baker Road, Willowdale, ON, M2H 2W2

As mentioned in the earlier posting, it's about 10 years old (if I'm reading the Roman numerals right), so I'm not sure if any of that is still current.

cheers.....ddw


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 06 May 99 - 06:52 AM

Oops, I went too far into the heirarchy of the site. this will send you to the top page.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 06 May 99 - 06:50 AM

I just ran into an autoharp site (ouch!). Click here.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: Tom on Comfort
Date: 06 May 99 - 02:10 AM

My very favorite tune to play on the autoharp is "Bread and Roses" and you want to make it all triumphant & glorious. Other favorites would include "Amelia Earhart's Last Flight," Bill Staines' "River," Butch Hancock's "West Texas Waltz" (I like waltzes).

Hey we could come up with some playlist, wouldn't we?

--Tom


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: Night Owl
Date: 06 May 99 - 01:36 AM

ddw...could you post the info on the album...please???


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: Night Owl
Date: 06 May 99 - 01:33 AM

Helen....I think you're absolutely right about "Wildwood Flower" it IS fun on the Autoharp (Same tune but different words="Reuben James")


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: ddw in windsor
Date: 06 May 99 - 01:32 AM

Hi Harpgirl....

Sorry, couldn't locate the Bryan Bowers album. Dare I admit I suspect it went bye-bye in the last roundup of things that I'll never use again and got taken to a shop where I swap records sometimes. My recollection of the cover is that it was dark and reddish, but that may be wrong.

Anyway, while I was digging around for it, I came across something else I hadn't had out for a while -- a cassette called simply Autoharps, featuring one Ron Wall on harp and Mark Howard on guitar. Don't know if you've heard it, but he has a pretty light touch on the harp and does some nice tunes:
Majestic Waltz
Bonapart's Crossing The Alps
Cuckoo's Nest
Gift To Be Simple
Carolan's Ramble to Cashel
Swedish Fiddle Tune
South Wind
Rights of Man Hornpipe
Morning Bells
Gary Owen
Bells of St. Mary's
Not Far Away.

If any of this sounds interesting, let me know and I'll post what info I have about the album. I think it's about 10 years old and looks to be a shoe-string operation, so it might be hard to find.

Cheers....

ddw


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: harpgirl
Date: 05 May 99 - 10:55 PM

Hey seed,
Ooops! I do remember you saying Sally was walking her dog and that's how your song circle began...I must be the one marching towards dottage! harp .


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 05 May 99 - 10:41 PM

Helen, sorry for answering for Harpgirl but of course it works: Maybelle Carter, whose grandmother first confused the words of the first verse, often performed it on autoharp--as does my friend Sally-who-is-not-Harpgirl. --seed


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