By Gregory Hansen
This biography of 97-year-old Richard Seaman, who grew up in Kissimmee Park, Florida, will depend on oral background and folklore learn to outline where of musicianship and storytelling within the state's heritage from one artist's standpoint. Gregory Hansen offers Seaman's review of Florida's altering cultural panorama via his tall stories, own adventure narratives, legends, mess around music repertory, and outlines of day-by-day life.
Seaman's formative years thoughts of fiddling performances and rural dances clarify the position such gatherings performed in development and conserving social order in the neighborhood. As an grownup, Seaman moved to Jacksonville, Florida, the place he labored as a machinist and played along with his relations band. The evolution of his musical repertory from the early Twenties in the course of the Fifties offers a source for reconstructing social existence within the rural south and for realizing how adjustments in musical kind replicate the state's more and more city social constitution. Hansen contains a set of Seaman's mess around tunes, transcribed for the advantage of performer and researcher alike. The thirty tall stories integrated within the quantity represent a consultant pattern of Florida’s oral culture within the early years of the twentieth century.
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Additional resources for A Florida Fiddler: The Life and Times of Richard Seaman
21 For the neighborly spirit to survive and for the dance to work, the participants had to cooperate. Various relations that were created, practiced, and tested in the dance were then extended to life outside of the Saturday night free-for-all. The dance was communal, but the authority invested in the caller was supreme. Even though the ¤ddler was subservient to the needs of the group, the dancers and musicians had to obey the caller’s voice. The dance could still work with wild actions on the dance ®oor, but individual expression was possible only within the parameters of the socially proscribed constraints chanted by the caller.
Chubby accepts the responsibility of playing to an audience and suggests, “I think it might be a good idea for us to play one. How about ‘Down Yonder’? ” George pipes up with “Yes sir. ” Chubby is about to start the show by suggesting in his high-pitched but deeply southern accent, “In the key of G. ” George answers, “That sounds ¤ne. ” George lights up with a good idea, “Would you mind if, on my turn, if I just have you play again and let me give you some harmony? ” Chubby sets a fast pace for the tune, and all the musicians keep up with the breakneck speed.
39 That’s one I’ll never forget. The late Ervin Rouse. ” Chubby points his bow in the direction of the St. Johns River, and Richard comments that he knew Mr. Rouse. ” and turns to the audience. Well, he and I got to be pretty close friends, and one night he had been out. After we had got off, why we run up on each other and went to the old Union Station. At Park and Main, I believe it. It’s a new building now. But at that time, it was Union Station. We went in and had some coffee. They didn’t have no big oranges there at that time of the morning, so we just come up with a cup of coffee.
A Florida Fiddler: The Life and Times of Richard Seaman by Gregory Hansen