A REEL TRADITION: Don Woodcock

Recently, I sat at the piano with my very good friend Don Woodcock to help him share a tune with the facebook community forum, “365 of Fiddlers: Fiddle Tune Video Library.”

Don Woodcock tells the story behind two North Country jigs. Gretchen Koehler, piano. link to video

Howard Woodcock, C. 1975 Kendrew Corners, NY (Courtesy of Don Woodcock archives. Used with permission.)

Howard Woodcock, C. 1975 Kendrew Corners, NY (Courtesy of Don Woodcock archives. Used with permission.)

Don says, “I learned these tunes from hearing my father play them when I was ten years old. I started playing piano accompaniment with him when I was that age; 1958. I recall one day that I was sitting at the piano all by myself just pecking away at some piano keys making some chords not even realizing what the chords were or what I was doing. Had no prior lessons. In came my Dad and out came the fiddle and the first thing I knew I was playing along with him never having done this before and no one showing me how either. I remember that Mom was gone somewhere doing something that day and when she got home she was quite surprised to hear my Dad and I playing music together. Probably a hard story to believe but all very true. And it wasn't long before I was playing piano at Kendrew Grange or the Masonic Hall in Ogdensburg accompanying my Dad on an occasional square dance set when the regular pianist needed a break. Played at New York State Fair with Dad when I was 11, 1959, on one of the hottest days that I ever can remember; so bad that the pigs were actually keeling over from the heat; we must have been tough lol. Getting back to the tunes at hand, I recall playing piano along with both of those jigs at the Masonic dances with my Dad. After I started playing fiddle, I don't ever recall playing those tunes at any gigs out in public although I played for hundreds of gigs where there was square dancing.”

Link to video

Kenneth Parow (caller), Howard Woodcock (fiddle), Carmen Jenkins Dowe (piano), Lorne (Bood) Jenkins (drums), Marion Jenkins. c 1953, Ogdensburg, New York (Photo courtesy of Don Woodcock archives. Used with permission.)

Kenneth Parow (caller), Howard Woodcock (fiddle), Carmen Jenkins Dowe (piano), Lorne (Bood) Jenkins (drums), Marion Jenkins. c 1953, Ogdensburg, New York (Photo courtesy of Don Woodcock archives. Used with permission.)

Glen Streeter (drums), Holly Burke (piano), Ralph Childs (banjo), Charlie Anderson and Howard Woodcock fiddles). c. 1950 Rensselaer Falls, NY (Photo courtesy of Don Woodcocok archives. Used with permission.)

Glen Streeter (drums), Holly Burke (piano), Ralph Childs (banjo), Charlie Anderson and Howard Woodcock fiddles). c. 1950 Rensselaer Falls, NY (Photo courtesy of Don Woodcocok archives. Used with permission.)



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