Archive for the ‘The Southern Waltz’ Category

“Sobre las Olas” (Southern Waltz #13)

November 20, 2011

Juventino Rosas

Over The Waves (Sobre Las Olas) is probably the best known waltz in the South and Southwest, and in tejano music. Though sometimes thought to be a Strauss waltz, “Over the Waves” was the best-known work of Juventino Rosas (1868-1894), a pure-blooded Otomi Indian from Mexico. Rosas grew up playing violin in his father’s wandering string band in Mexico City, and by the time he was 15 he was good enough to take a job with a touring opera company. After a miserable stint in the army, he returned to Mexico City to try to eke out a living writing drawing room pieces for a local publishing company.

One of these was “Sobre Las Olas,” published in 1891; though it quickly became popular and was picked up by fiddlers all along the border, Rosas himself received little tangible rewards for it. In desperation, he joined a traveling road show, and wound up in Havana, where he caught a fever and died. He was only 26. His song lived on, though; soon it was being played by early jazzmen in New Orleans and even by Italian accordion players in New York.   (from

Tony Russell’s Country Music Records lists 19 old time recordings of “Over the Waves” between 1921-1942.  This one has not been surpassed:

 “Over the Waves,” by the Kessinger Bros.

Feb. 4, 1929, New York, NY


The Southern Waltz (#12)

November 13, 2011

“The Merry Widow Waltz,” by The Leake County Revelers

April 27, 1928, New Orleans, LA

The Southern Waltz (#11)

November 6, 2011

Jacks Creek Waltz,” by Doc Roberts

March 15, 1929, Richmond, IN

The Southern Waltz (#10)

October 30, 2011

by Robert Crumb

The Southern Waltz #10

Sweet Rose of Heaven,” by Taylor-Griggs Louisiana Melody Makers

Sept. 13, 1928, Memphis, TN

The Southern Waltz (#9)

October 23, 2011

The Southern Waltz #9

“My Isle of Golden Dreams,”by Charlie and Ira Stripling

March 12, 1936, New Orleans, LA

The Southern Waltz (#8)

October 16, 2011

not the Murphy Bros.

The Southern Waltz #8

Boat Song March,” by The Murphy Bros. Harp Band

Dec. 4, 1930, Atlanta, GA.

The Southern Waltz (#7)

October 9, 2011


The Southern Waltz #7

“Winona Echoes,” by Narmour and Smith

July 30, 1934, Atlanta,  GA

Born in Ackerman, Choctaw County, Mississippi on March 22,1889, it was not until seven years later that his family moved to Carroll County, where he remained until he died on March 24, 1961, at age 72. He was survived by his wife, his sons, Coleman and Charles, and daughter, Hazel.

Willie Narmour was one of the most influential early fiddlers from Mississippi, widely known for “Carroll County Blues” and his collaboration with guitarist Shell Smith. They played and recorded together from 1928 to 1934. Narmour and Smith remained rooted in their community and seem to have traveled little other than the recording trips to Memphis in 1928, New York in 1929, Atlanta 1929 and 1934, and San Antonio Texas in 1930.

Willie first learned to play on a cigar box fiddle that his father, John Narmour, made for him. Willie came from a musical family: his father also played fiddle, and his father’s brother, Henry, played fiddle, bass fiddle, beat straws, and clogged. Henry’s wife, Jimmie, sang. Willie is best known as a fiddler but he also played guitar (as on the recording of “Rose Waltz” which he played in the same style as Shellie Smith).

He did not read music and had little formal education. In an area where men tended to be taciturn, his personality was described as being as engaging as his music. He played music, drove a school bus, farmed, and ran an auto mechanic garage to support his family. He loved to hunt. Though not religious, Willie did occasionally attend the Pisgah church, which was very close to his home in Valley.

(Knowing that dances were rife with drinking and fighting and that Willie was of small stature, I asked Charles Campbell, the deputy sheriff in the area when Willie played for local dances, “Did he ever get into fights at these dances?” He answered, “No, he had friends…” implying large muscular friends, who protected him.)

He continued to play in public after his recording career ended in 1934, although not with Shell Smith. One site was the Alice Cafe in Greenwood, where he was known to play for admirers possibly as late as the 1950’s. He had other accompanists at earlier dates also, Lonnie Ellis of the Mississippi Possum Hunters recalls seeing Willie at the 1929 or 1930 Fiddlers contest in Kosciuskio with another guitarist.


The Southern Waltz (#6)

October 2, 2011

The Southern Waltz #6

“Jug Band Waltz,” by the Memphis Jug Band

Southern Waltz (#5)

September 25, 2011

The Southern Waltz #5

Uncle Ned’s Waltz by The Grinnell Giggers

Nov. 26, 1930, Memphis, TN

The Southern Waltz (#4)

September 18, 2011

The Southern Waltz #4

The Sheik Waltz,” by the Mississippi Sheiks

17-Feb-1930, Shreveport, La

The Southern Waltz (#3)

September 11, 2011

The Southern Waltz (#3)

“Marosovia Waltz” by The Hill Billies (the same recording

was also released in Mexico as “Marsovia” by Los Alegres).

Recorded December 21, 1928, NYC

The Southern Waltz (#2)

September 4, 2011

Southern Waltz #2

“Saturday Night Waltz” by Fiddling Bob Larkin

Nov. 21, 1928, Memphis, Tennessee

The Southern Waltz (#1)

August 28, 2011

This is the first in a weekly series of mp3 posts of southern waltzes from the 1920’s and 1930’s.  The series will highlight the great waltzes, waltz fiddlers, and waltz bands.  The cumulative collection will also remain accessible, as it builds, under “PAGES” in the upper right corner of this blog.

Southern Waltz #1

“The Sweetest Flower Waltz” by The East Texas Serenaders

Recorded December 2, 1927, Dallas, Texas.