Fred and Ivan Laam played on Stockton radio station KGDM for 25 years as the Happy Hayseeds. Kenny Hall listened to their program and learned many tunes from them. He joined them with his mandolin for a program.
“Forest de Bondi” is found in Mellie Dunham’s Fiddlin’ Dance Tunes (1925), a book that Kenny Hall learned many tunes from with the help of Miss Natalie Bigelow, his music teacher at the California School for the Blind.
A rare Crockett family music tape from Elnora Crockett contained this previously unknown fiddle tune played by Dad Crockett on fiddle and Clarence on guitar. Ron Tinkler and Jim Ringer used to take Kenny Hall out to Dad’s place in Fowler, CA for Sunday afternoon tunes with Ron Hughey and Frank Hicks. However, this tune never surfaced from those sessions.
Ron Hughey brought this crooked modal fiddle tune from Missouri with him when his family moved to Fowler, CA around 1927. Ron played fiddle in the Sweets Mill Mountain Boys with Pete Everwine on banjo, Frank Hicks on guitar, and Kenny Hall on mandolin.
Kenny Hall played these three tunes in a medley. Greenfields of America (G) is in Ryan’s Mammoth Collection (1883), as is Dominion Reel (C). The third tune is The Rival (G), a hornpipe first published in 1850 in Boston by music publisher Oliver Ditson under the title “Turner’s Hornpipe.” Kenny probably got the medley from a 78 rpm Radiex record by the Four Irish Masters called “Miss McLeod’s Medley Reels.” Kenny said the band consisted of saxophone, accordion, banjo, & fiddle. We’ve never heard a recording of the 78 rpm record.
Kenny Hall taught this tune to both Terry Barrett and me, at different times, as “Wilkin’s Clog.” We have not found any other source for the tune. The second part has some unique syncopation.
Kenny Hall taught us this four-part version of the “Heel and Toe Polka,” which was recorded by Henry Ford’s Old Fashioned Dance Orchestra for Columbia Records in 1926, complete with a sousaphone instead of a string base. Kenny had this 78 rpm record with “A Southern Schottische” on the flip side. The Heel and Toe Polka is a melody and a dance. Different tunes have been played over the decades as the back up for the dance. The last two parts of this tune are often called “Jenny Lind Polka,” which was also recorded by Bill Monroe.