The Frank Bradbury´s banjo tutorial is a really nice book for learning the classic fingerstyle. It has lot of nice exercises and tunes like this one and it's pretty awesome how they mix with these really old cartoons.

This movie is called "I'm insured" from Harry Palmer (1916) and you can find the complete movie and the original score here:

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#classicbanjo #banjo #oldcartoons #oldtime

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Comment by Trapdoor2 on July 5, 2021 at 15:01

I checked "Ryan's Mammoth Collection" (1883), no "Pennyroyal" there. This is a great tune source, BTW. Available for download here:

Kerr's is basically a European copy of Ryan's, with few changes.

Comment by Jody Stecher on July 5, 2021 at 16:00

I have Ryan's in print form. Our tune might be in there by another name. And it might be in the forerunner to Ryan's which is Howe's or the successor which is Cole's.  I just did a comparison of the table of contents of volume one of Kerr's and Ryan's table of contents, looking only at tunes beginning with the letter A.  Kerr's, in just one volume of 4, has more titles not in Ryan's than it has matches. However a few of those were in Howe's. But not all. The typesetting of Kerr's (from Scotland)  is also very different whereas the three American books all look similar.

The idea that Kerr's is Ryan's-in-Disguise seems to have originated with Charles Wolfe.  I have found his writings to be sometimes accurate and sometimes not.

Comment by Joel Hooks on July 6, 2021 at 14:10

Just floating this out there, and I know it sounds totally loony tunes, but is it possible that this Stebbins composed it and it just happens to be in a style that sounds like a "fiddle tune"?

Comment by Joel Hooks on July 6, 2021 at 14:34

hmm... I'm starting to think that "Si Stebbins" might be George Lansing.  He often used "Leo Catlin" to write under.

The only Stebbins I can find was a mandolin teacher in Rochester, George B., that patented a compensated mandolin bridge.

There was a Vaudeville performer that had a "tramp act" with card tricks that used the stage name "Si Stebbins." 

The same piece is in Lansing's Tenor Banjo method under the title "Country Dance."

Comment by Jody Stecher on July 6, 2021 at 16:25

"Country Dance" is a genre. It doesn't mean a dance done by rural people. The term may be derived from the French  "contredance" indicating a line of couples facing each other. The music for country dancing/contra dancing can sometimes be the same tune types as played for quadrilles (square dancing), which can be jigs, reels, hornpipes or repurposed hornpipes and clogs. But there is a characteristic shape to Country Dance tunes whether played on fiddle or flute or something else. And Old Pennyroyal by any title has that shape.  I don't think any music with that shape was ever played at the historic Cotton Club in New York City.  BUT ... Duke Ellington, who often played at the Cotton Club, famously said that there were only two kinds of music with *swing* and these were jazz and Scottish Music Scottish Country Dances however rarely swing. They usually plod.  Reels and strathspeys are another story. 

The tunes in Kerr's that resemble Old Pennyroyal are to be found in Country Dance section. There are other sections for jigs, reels.waltzes and in some volumes the Irish and Scottish reels etc are presented in separate sections of the book.

Comment by Joel Hooks on July 7, 2021 at 2:32

Bit of a correction, the weird A/C notation Lansing tutor is the "Witmark Progressive Method" which promises to teach in both A and C and does not do a good job for either.  I got my Lansings crossed.

RE: Bradbury titles.  He did funny stuff.  He would take strains from different pieces and put them together and call them something different. Sometimes the new title had nothing to do with any of the pieces he pulled from.  He dressed them up with his fireworks (that if you pay attention can all be found in the 61 book).  I don't put any stock into his titles, they are just names.

I recently discovered that "Alabama Moon" is ripped from the trio of "Pert and Pretty Waltz" by A. J. Weidt.  I think Bradbury's titles were just random.

A great example of his firework dressing is his arrangement of "California" on page 112.  Compare it to the standard version of "California Dance".

I imagine that Mel Bay did not want him to name the source material for fear that something might still be in copyright but that is just a guess.  Some of the pieces in the 61 book are different versions (or fragments) of stuff found in his 1927 book.

There is a long tradition of changing titles for instruction books.  I recently got a Spanish guitar to fool around with and have discovered that many of the 19th century tutors for guitar are filled with Carcassi ripoffs with titles added to the etudes, scattered with some popular pieces. 

Comment by Jody Stecher on July 7, 2021 at 2:43

And to add to what Joel has pointed out about changing titles it now occurs to me that Marc and Charles Wolf might be right after all about Kerr's being Ryan's In Disguise. I noted  *titles* in Kerr's not in Ryan's but I did not take into account that the compiler of Kerr's could have made up new titles for Ryan's  repertoire not well-known in Scotland. Maybe some day I'll find time to find out. 

Comment by Trapdoor2 on July 8, 2021 at 1:54

I was just paraphrasing Mr. Wolf. I haven't done a comparison (though I have both in hard copy, along with Cole's and O'neill's, Knauff's, etc.). Wolf does not state that Kerr is 100% Ryan, he simply says that many are note-for-note, sometimes with changed titles and sometimes a change of key.

I did a search of the various internet fiddle-tune sites and have found not a single instance of "Pennyroyal" used for a fiddle tune title...which I find really amazing. Next time I make up a tune, I'm using it!

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