Graham Townsend’s 100 Fiddle Hits - 35th. Anniversary Collection

By Graham Townsend

Added by Rover .
  1. Crooked Stovepipe
    Arkansas Traveller
    Old Joe Clark
    Soldier’s Joy
  2. The Girl I Left Behind
    Joys Of Quebec
    Logger’s Breakdown
    Ragtime Annie
  3. Down Yonder
    Kingdom Come
    Mitton’s Breakdown
    Rubber Dolly
  4. Debbie’s
    Black Velvet
    Country
    Tennessee
  5. Wilson’s Clog
    Gray’s Second Chance
    Waylon’s Breakdown
    Big John Mcneil
  6. Bonnie Dundee
    Major Mackie
    First Western Change
    Blackthorn Stick
  7. Orange Blossom Special
  8. Patronella
    Rakes Of Mallow
    Don Messer’s Breakdown
    Liberty Two-Step
  9. Back Up And Push
    Turkey In The Straw
    Eighth Of January
    Sugarfoot Rag
  10. Road To The Isles
    Cock O’ The North
    Smash The Window
    Scotland The Brave
  11. Up Jumped The Devil
    Rickett’s
    Bowin’ The Strings
    Mississippi Sawyer
  12. Old Barn Dance
    My Little Girl
    Climbing Up The Golden Stairs
    Spanish Cavalero
  13. Maytime Swing
    Devil’s Dream
    Swamp Lake Breakdown
    Chinese Breakdown
  14. Maple Sugar
  15. Pigeon On The Pier
    The Wind That Shakes The Barley
    Wake Up Susan
    Plaza
  16. Fisher’s
    Sailor’s
    Old Man And Old Woman
    Miss McCloud’s
  17. Rippling Water
    Old Red Barn
    Rock Valley
    Hundred Pipers
  18. Norwegian
    Waltz Quadrille
    Over The Waves
    Peek-A-Boo
  19. Flowers Of Edinburgh
    Chicken
    Sally Goodin
    Flop-Eared Mule
  20. Road To Boston
    Redwing
    Dusty Miller’s
    Silvery Bells
  21. Mocking Bird
  22. Snowflake Breakdown
    Angus Campbell
    Tennessee Wagoner
    Lightning
  23. Hi-Lo Schottische
    Rochester Schottische
    Buffalo Gals
    Golden Slippers
  24. Bill Cheatum
    St. Anne’s
    High Level
    Cripple Creek
  25. Uncle Jim
    Joys Of Wedlock
    Bride Of The Wind
    Haste To The Wedding
  26. Texas Quickstep
    Kiley’s
    Snow Deer
    Lord McDonald’s
  27. Little Brown Jug
    Darlin’ Nellie Gray
    Circassian Circle
    Boil Them Cabbage Down (banjo)
  28. Draggin’ The Bow

One comment

Re: Graham Townsend’s 100 Fiddle Hits - 35th. Anniversary Collection

This CD by Canadian fiddle player Graham Townsend (1942 –1998) is one of the few occasionally available (ebay etc) in the UK, although he recorded many LPs throughout a stellar career which included years with much international showbiz popularity.

According to http://www.ottawacountrymusichof.org/inductees/1990/graham_townsend.htm
“Born in Toronto, Graham, legally blind from birth, grew up in Buckingham, Quebec where he absorbed the rich culture of the Irish, French and Scottish music of the Ottawa Valley that would later mould him into a prolific composer of over 400 songs and a musician with a repertoire of close to 4,000 fiddle tunes.” There’s no more there about the Canadian definition of “legally blind”, but he is more often described as “visually impaired” from an early age.

29 of his recordings are listed at
http://www.backtothesugarcamp.com/TownsendG.html

The only one of these recordings listed on thesession so far is ‘Le Violon’, where the submitter has added a fair amount of interesting background info. This edition of ‘Graham Townsend’s 100 Fiddle Hits’ has just a list of all 100 tunes, but not separated into tracks, which prompted one online reviewer to complain that this makes it difficult to find any particular tune. True. However, one website has listed tracks and tunes ( https://countrydiscoghraphy2.blogspot.com/2018/05/graham-townsend.html ). And the unwavering formula in 22 of the 28 tracks is a medley of four tunes given about 35 seconds each, so finding tunes isn’t all that difficult.

The exceptions (individual concert showpieces, recorded live, with wild applause at the end: tracks 7, 21 and 28) or waltzes (ceilidh chill-out time maybe, tracks 4 and 18) and one other: track 14, Maple Syrup, given a whole 1:15 to itself for some reason.

7 Orange Blossom Special (live) 3:16
4 Four waltzes 3:00
14 Maple Sugar 1:15
18 Four waltzes 3:19
21 Mocking Bird 2:17 (live, complete with bird sounds)
28 Draggin’ The Bow (live) 2:15
Some of the backing might not please everyone, (though may be appreciated by dancers), and there is a different balance in other tracks and recordings of concert performances.
In his comments on ‘Le Violon’, the submitter (lottiemaus) says “Many of his compositions are on the Session already”. It’d be interesting to see a list of these and to see if they have all been correctly attributed. See “https://thesession.org/recordings/3065

Having just posted the recording a few seconds ago, it should be a bit easier to run through the list of tracks and tunes checking those that show links …

According to the Canadian Encyclopedia: “Townsend recorded some 200 of his 400 fiddle tunes. His best-known pieces include Royal Princess Two Step, Rocking Chair Jake, Debbie’s Waltz, Maytime Swing, Black Jack Whiskey, My Dungannon Sweetheart, Swinging in the 80s, and Ice on the Road.”
Some of tunes are on this CD but the only one of those listed above on thesession at present is My Dungannon Sweetheart. Another one of his tunes which is listed on thesession is ‘Murray River’, which was played by Willy Taylor among others.

There’s more info from ceoloachan (from 14 years) ago re ‘My Dungannon Sweetheart’ at https://thesession.org/tunes/1575 , although some of the links there may no longer work exactly as shown then.

Townsend’s LPs and CDs are more widely available in Canada, naturally enough, but not many LPs appear to have been digitised and sold as CDs, maybe because the styles which were very popular in the 50s/60s are less marketable today. However, a lot of the LPs are now on youtube, a number posted by Golden Age Media among others, and a few videos of Graham Townsend in concert etc.

Ref possible royalties, Graham did have at least one child, Gray Townsend, who played drums on this CD and at least one of the LPs - House Party, Rodeo Records RLP 8015 (1987).

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