Back Up and Push

This is an online fiddle lesson for the fiddle tune "Back Up and Push."

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Genre: Bluegrass
Skill Level: Intermediate, Advanced
Key of C

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Video #1: Here is a video of me performing the fiddle tune "Back Up and Push."

Back Up and Push - Online Fiddle Lessons. Celtic, Bluegrass, Old-Time, Gospel, and Country Fiddle. Back Up and Push - Online Fiddle Lessons. Celtic, Bluegrass, Old-Time, Gospel, and Country Fiddle. Back Up and Push - Online Fiddle Lessons. Celtic, Bluegrass, Old-Time, Gospel, and Country Fiddle. Back Up and Push - Online Fiddle Lessons. Celtic, Bluegrass, Old-Time, Gospel, and Country Fiddle. Back Up and Push - Online Fiddle Lessons. Celtic, Bluegrass, Old-Time, Gospel, and Country Fiddle. Back Up and Push - Online Fiddle Lessons. Celtic, Bluegrass, Old-Time, Gospel, and Country Fiddle. Back Up and Push - Online Fiddle Lessons. Celtic, Bluegrass, Old-Time, Gospel, and Country Fiddle.

 

Back Up and Push or Rubber Dolly Rag” is an American tune that has touched nearly every corner of the American music scene since the melody first appeared in 1900. Danish-born American violinist/composer Jens Bodewalt Lampe, after becoming the first-chair violinist for the Minneapolis Symphony at age 16, moved to Buffalo NY in the 1890s and began to lead dance band of his own. Almost immediately after becoming aware of Scott Joplin’s new “Maple Leaf Rag,” Lampe composed his own syncopated piece entitled “Creole Belles.” This brand new type of music, which later came to be called “ragtime,” was variously described as “cakewalk,” “march” and “two-step” music during its early history. “Creole Belles” was performed widely by pianists, ragtime bands, brass bands and military bands. John Phillip Sousa championed this piece and by 1902, the Danish American had become one of the most well known ragtime composers – perhaps second only to Joplin.

Early in the 1900s, the second strain of “Creole Belles” began to be picked up by fiddlers all across America and the catchy melody began to adopt alternative names including “Back Up and Push” and “Rubber Dolly.” The tune was so popular that most Appalachian string bands who were recording in the 1920s & 1930s released some version of it. Gid Tanner’s Skillet Lickers and Uncle Bud Landress made recordings of this tune in the early '30s. Perry Bechtel and His Boys, known for their recordings on the “Race” and “Hillbilly” series popularized in that era by the record companies, recorded this tune in Atlanta. Some of the most often quoted lyrics are from the Light Crust Dough Boys, a band that featured one of the greatest Texas swing fiddlers of the time – Cecil Brower.

This tune represents one of the most amazing of the many cultural cross-pollinations in our American musical history. After Western Swing bands and Texas Style fiddlers adopted and popularized the tune with its characteristic swing and ragtime rhythms, the great African American jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald recorded it using the white string-band lyrics. Fitzgerald’s “Wubba Dolly” was recorded in 1939. Famed African American blues guitarist and singer Mississippi John Hurt, who often collaborated with Anglo American fiddler Willie Narmour in the early 1920s, brought the original title of this tune to the forefront again by adapting the lyrics of “My Creole Belle” to the new tune and rhythm. Hurt was known for playing square dance and ragtime music during the same period that he was recording early blues music for Okey Records. (americanstrings.blogspot.com)

Gid Tanner and the Skillet Lickers' 1934 version of "Back Up and Push" became the third best-selling country music record for that year.  The tune has been  popularized in bluegrass and old time circles by such bands as Bill Monroe's and Benny Martin's, and influential fiddlers Kenny Baker and Buck Ryan. The the double shuffle or “hokum bowing” you hear in Western and Bluegrass versions was popularized by jazz fiddler Joe Venuti in the late 1920’s, incorporated into  “The Beaumont Rag”, and reached its apogee in the tune “Orange Blossom SpeciaL” in the 1940’s. (tunearch.org)

 

Posted in Advanced, Bluegrass, Intermediate Tagged with:

Best Online Fiddle Lessons Forums Back Up and Push

This topic contains 15 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  John Cockman 2 years ago.

Viewing 16 posts - 1 through 16 (of 16 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #24945

    John Cockman
    Keymaster

    Back Up and Push in the style of Kenny Baker.

    Back Up and Push

    #24946
    nagumaq
    nagumaq
    Participant

    Man that was so awesome,  John , you did it again ! I am so inspired, Love Kenny Baker, there really is a lot going on in there.  Can’t wait , as soon as cotton Eye Joe up to speed and then Maple and Back up and Push. Thanks for keeping it that much more interesting . Great job 😀

    Gu

    #24948

    Bruce
    Participant

    John,

    Thanks, thanks, thanks.  One of my favorites.  Love anything Kenny Baker did!   I tried to learn this tune from your old video way back when but never could really get it.  This  new lesson is great, can’t wait to dive in as I have progressed a lot in my fiddling since then.

    #24958
    Justine
    Justine
    Participant

    Wow! What a great arrangement, John! I love that song!

    #24964

    John Cockman
    Keymaster

    I can’t take credit for the arrangement, but it sure was fun to play! The advanced class learned that one at Fiddle Camp last week and I will make a video of them playing it.

    #24966

    Bruce
    Participant

    Looking forward to the video.

    After two days I finally have the first 4 bars sounding bad ( a vast improvement from awful-ha).  I have watched you play it a dozen times and you make it look so easy.   That is a testament to your talent. Maybe by Christmas I’ll have the hokum bowing part, maybe. I am going to learn it because this song was one reason I wanted to learn the fiddle.  I heard a young  girl named Clancy Ferguson who was 12 at the time playing it at the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, AR  about 6 years ago and it sealed the deal for me, I had to have a fiddle.  I figure if I can master this one I”ll have reached a level of fiddling I never dreamed I could attain and I will give the credit to you and your videos.

     

    #24968

    Kaeleigh
    Participant

    Oh my! A wonderful version of wonderful song, but a bit over my head 🙂 It’s always good to have something to aim for! Maybe next year… or the year after!

    #24970

    John Cockman
    Keymaster

    Bruce, you don’t have to give me the credit! 🙂 I do hope you’ll be able to learn it.

    Kaeleigh, I have “Golden Slippers” in the chute — I think it would be right up your alley! But, I will say, the “hokum” bowing on Back Up and Push is not nearly as hard as it sounds!

    #25080
    Rock
    Rock
    Participant

    John, that was fantastic! I have never heard it played that well by anybody. Also you look marvelous, fit as a fiddle!

    #25082

    John Cockman
    Keymaster

    I appreciate that Rock! I am looking and sounding better thanks to you and GS as my accountability partners, but I still have a ways to go.

    #25083
    Rock
    Rock
    Participant

    I think GS has guided you well and I believe you will meet your goals!

    #25224

    Angela
    Participant

    Like Bruce, this was the song that introduced me to the famous Bluegrass Daddy.  I happened upon the old vid on Youtube, and the rest is history.

    I’m working on the awesome BGD variations of Whiskey Before Bfast.  When I have them under the fingers, I’m going to jump back on this one.  Can’t wait!!

    And, uh, I hate to argue with the master, but hokum bowing is not as easy as BGD makes it sound like it is.  hahaha  Maybe it could be like riding a bike (or vibrato)…once you know how to do it, you don’t know how to “undo” it.  We shall see.

    #25230

    John Cockman
    Keymaster

    Ha maybe you are right, Angela! To me it is the easiest part of Back up and Push.

    #25246
    nagumaq
    nagumaq
    Participant

    Hokum bowing?!? I got to get back up to speed on tricks and things, there s got to be some of the hokum in the songs I be learned already. Feeling intrigued🐱and curious as a cat, and 🐇ready like a rabbit 😀

    Gu

    #25247
    Rock
    Rock
    Participant

    HaHA! Gu, you will have it down pat in no time. Thanks for your prayers!

    #25270

    John Cockman
    Keymaster

    🐱and curious as a cat, and 🐇ready like a rabbit

    Imagine a three-legged rabbit running from a cat. That is hokum bowing.

    I love the new icons!

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