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Origins: Sam McGee Victory Rag

TonyBecker 08 Nov 05 - 04:29 PM
pdq 08 Nov 05 - 05:29 PM
Dave4Guild 09 Nov 05 - 05:23 PM
TonyBecker 13 Nov 05 - 03:06 PM
TonyBecker 17 Nov 05 - 10:39 AM
Mik2 25 Dec 13 - 01:27 PM
The Sandman 25 Dec 13 - 01:51 PM
Mik2 18 Jan 14 - 05:07 PM
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Subject: Origins: Sam McGee Victory Rag
From: TonyBecker
Date: 08 Nov 05 - 04:29 PM

I am a finger picker researching Sam McGee's work for a school show I am planning.

I have Doc and Merles duet on my Foundation CD (which is admittedly badly mixed - no highs) the version on my Home Again! LP.

I have checked out the James Scott tune "Victory Rag", but it seems to have no relationship to the Sam and Kirk McGee tune. The melody is completely different. Click here to hear a midi version James Scott Victory Rag

Can anyone confirm that Sam or Kirk wrote it and when they first performed it?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sam McGee Victory Rag
From: pdq
Date: 08 Nov 05 - 05:29 PM

Almost sure that the tune "Victory Rag" on Doc Watson's "Home Again!" album is an old Carter family number. It is fairly simple and not very close to the McGee style.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sam McGee Victory Rag
From: Dave4Guild
Date: 09 Nov 05 - 05:23 PM

Try this link:

Victory Rag


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sam McGee Victory Rag
From: TonyBecker
Date: 13 Nov 05 - 03:06 PM

Thanks, Dave4Guild!

I sent a person request to Happy Traum et. al. to pass to John James, in the hope that he has researched the origins.

If I learn something, I'll post it here.

Tony


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Subject: RE: Origins: Victor Rag
From: TonyBecker
Date: 17 Nov 05 - 10:39 AM

I eventually got this response from Steve James...

"I actually visited Sam at home in 1975 (just before his tragic death) for a guitar lesson. I can still play a couple/few of his motifs, and have recorded my adaptions of a few of his tunes. Also tanscribed arrangements of Buckdancer's Choice and Railroad Blues in my Blues/Roots Fingerstyle guitar book. "Victor Rag" (sic.) is Maybelle Carter's. Note that it's "Victor Rag" (as in the record label). Chet Atkins, and hence Doc Watson, got it from her." - Steve James

So, it seems Maybelle Carter wrote it, and named it "Victor Rag", in honor of her recording label, RCA Victor.

Tony


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sam McGee Victory Rag
From: Mik2
Date: 25 Dec 13 - 01:27 PM

According to the New Lost City Ramblers Folkways LP ' String Band Instrumentals ':
Maybelle Carter learned the tune from a guitar player at the Old Dominion Barn Dance, Richmond, Virginia in the 1950s.
(Name of the guitarist is not known).

She recorded it the first time in 1963/64 for the 'Smash' Records label
'' Mother Maybelle Carter - Pickin' and Singin' (MGS 27041 /SRS 67041) Possibly it can exist on earlier survived radio
recordings, but I haven't seen it.

Smash LP album info

Smash label history with this LP included

The NLCRs version was learned directly from Maybelle in '63 - soundclip is at Smithsonian Folkways.

Here is Maybelle with Ike Everly playing Victor(y) Rag (matching audio and film)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sam McGee Victory Rag
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Dec 13 - 01:51 PM

wow, that is an amazing clip .


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sam McGee Victory Rag
From: Mik2
Date: 18 Jan 14 - 05:07 PM

Yeah, it is a nice clip, don't know how anyone got so much of the shows to tape (was ever the complete Johnny Cash show released ?)

If anyone looks for Maybelle playing the 'Victory Rag' by herself, look for her in Wolfgang's Vault live 1963.


@TonyBecker, I know it has now been 9 years since your post, I just thought to add a bit:





Dave4guild's link above to Homespun actually can now lead to 2 versions of this tune:

One with the Welsh Ragtime guitarist "John James", who teach his variant of Maybelle's tune, not Scott's.

The other one "Steve James" has a page with the book referenced about guitarists like Sam & Kirk.


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