Cathy’s Banjo Book

Cathy’s Banjo Tabs

Cathy on HeeHaw, 1977

While Cathy was recognized as a master of the hammered dulcimer and one of its earlier players in its revival in the 1970s, her banjo playing was at the heart of her music. It was her winning her high school talent show in 1973 with a solo rendition of “Dueling Banjos” that pointed her in the direction of musical performance,
and folks in mid-Missouri mentioned their memory of that for the rest of her life.

CathyGrandpa

Cathy with Grandpa Jones in the 1980s

Lee Ruth first taught her the frailing style, and his brother, Jim, inspired her greatly. But Cathy started playing with old-time fiddlers in mid Missouri, and banjo players backing up Little Dixie fiddlers no longer frailed like they still do in the Appalachians. She developed her own arrangements of these tunes and an impressively strong solo style. Her friendship with Grandpa Jones further inspired that effort. In the 1980s, she twice won the Tennessee Old-Time Banjo Championship, and in Nashville, where old-time music had all but vanished from the scene, Roy Acuff often called her his “favorite banjo player,” reminded of earlier days of country music.

In a Columbia Studio, 2016

Cathy was a fine teacher; her music students loved her. Doing workshops at festivals and camps, Cathy learned to write tablatures for those sessions. I’m pretty sure she never learned a tune from tablature; she was a terrific ear musician. Her knowledge of theory wasn’t extensive, either, but she could find a shape and hold it at the right time, not really caring what it was called. It was the sound that mattered. And while we have a couple of tablature writing programs, Cathy didn’t bother with them and preferred to write them out by hand, even drawing the lines herself with a straight edge. I include them here for anyone to copy and learn. Playing her tunes would honor her best.

Cathy in Elizabethtown, Ky,

Also included here are some tunes we recorded for our friend Gary Libman, her banjo buddy from Carp Camp, who died from a rare leukemia in 2016. While he was at M.D. Anderson we sent him these tunes his enjoyment and learning. It’s a pleasant image for his wife, Erika, and I, of Cathy and Gary laughing and playing banjo in the celestial sphere, much to the surprise of tellers of banjo jokes everywhere.
Enjoy.

Cathy and Dave at Carp Camp

Cathy at the Albuquerque Folk Festival, 2018

Cathy with the Vanderveer Brothers

41st Avenue pdf symbol
Arkansas Two Step pdf symbol
Baby-O pdf symbol
Bagpipe in the Fiddle pdf symbol
Banjo Pickn’ Girl pdf symbol
Basic Frailing Motion pdf symbol
Bell Cow pdf symbolAudio
Bethesda Breakdown pdf symbol
Bile Them Cabbage pdf symbol
Big John McNeil pdf symbol
Big Liza Jane pdf symbol
Bill Cheatum pdf symbol
Boatman pdf symbol
Bonaparte’s March pdf symbol
Buckin’ Dun pdf symbol
Buffalo Gals pdf symbol
Caliche Creek
Carve That Possum pdf symbol
Chased Ol’ Satan pdf symbol
Chewing Gum pdf symbol
Cluck Old Hen pdf symbol
Columbus Stockade Blues pdf symbol
Come, Love, Come pdf symbolAudio
Come my Little Pink pdf symbol
Coming Down from Denver
Cotton Blossom pdf symbol
Cotton-Eyed Joe, Too pdf symbol
Crow black chicken pdf symbol
Cumberland Mountain Bear Chase pdf symbol
Dance Around Molly pdf symbolAudio
Darby’s Ram pdf symbolAudio
Devil Ate a Groundhog
Devilish Mary pdf symbolAudio
Down the River I go pdf symbol
Down the Road pdf symbol
Down Where the Watermelon Grows pdf symbol
Ducks on the Pond pdf symbol
Dull Chisel pdf symbolAudio
Durham’s Bull pdf symbol
Easy Club
Ebb and Flow
Echoes of the Ozarks pdf symbol
Eight More Miles to Louisville pdf symbol
Elk River Blues
Forked Deer
Free Little Bird pdf symbol
Georgia Railroad pdf symbol
Goin’ to Little Creek pdf symbol
Goin’ up the River pdf symbol
Going Across the Sea pdf symbol
Going to the West pdf symbol
Gonna Go Huntin’ for the Buffalo pdf symbol
Granny, Will Your Dog Bite? pdf symbol
Grey Eagle pdf symbol
Gumboat pdf symbol
Hesitation Blues pdf symbol
Hold That Wood Pile Down pdf symbol
Hollow Poplar
Hop High pdf symbol
Hughie Travers
I’m Goin’ to Cairo pdf symbol
I Wish I was in Bowling Green pdf symbol
Ichabod’s Last Ride
Jack Rabbit
Jenny, Get Your Hoecakes Done pdf symbolAudio
Jim Along Josie pdf symbol
John Henry pdf symbol
John Stenson’s #2 pdf symbol
Johnny Booker pdf symbol
Johnny Don’t Get Drunk pdf symbol
Ladies Fancy pdf symbol
Ladies on the Green pdf symbol
Le Grande Chaine pdf symbol
Leather Britches
Let me cross your mind pdf symbol
Little Brown Jug pdf symbol
Little Wiskey pdf symbol
Lost Indian pdf symbol
Mama Don’t Allow pdf symbol
Mountain Dew pdf symbol
Mouth of the Tobique pdf symbol
Meg Gray
Ms. McLeod’s Reel
Music for a Found Harmonium
Nail That Catfish to the Tree
OH, Susannah pdf symbol
Old Blue pdf symbol
Old Joe Bone pdf symbol
Old Joe Clark pdf symbol
Old Joe Clark Texas Version pdf symbol
Old Man and Old Woman pdf symbol
One Little Story the Crow Told Me pdf symbol
Pack Up Your Sorrows pdf symbol
Paddy on the Landfill
Pay Me My Money Down pdf symbol
Pays de Haut pdf symbol
Pickn’ the Berries pdf symbol
Pig in a Pen pdf symbol
Poor Howard pdf symbol
Portrhole of the Kelp
Possum Up a Gum Stump
Pretty Polly-Cumberland Gap- Shaving a Dead Man pdf symbol
Prairie Creek pdf symbol
Problem Solved
Rachel and Ichabod’s Last Ride
Red Hills Polka pdf symbol
Rocky Mountain pdf symbol
Rosalee pdf symbol
Saddle Old Kate-Twin Sisters pdf symbol
Salvation
Sam and Elsie pdf symbol
Sara Armstrong’s
Satan, Your Kingdon Must Come Down pdf symbol
Shady Grove-Cluck Old Hen pdf symbol
Ships in the Clouds
Shoes and Stockings
Simple Bass Runs pdf symbol
Spanish Two-Step pdf symbol
Spider Bit the Baby pdf symbol
Spotted Pony pdf symbol
St. Joe Hornpipe pdf symbol
Stonewall Jackson-Little Brown Jug pdf symbol
Sundown pdf symbol
Take Your Time, Miss Lucy pdf symbol
Texas Bound pdf symbol
The Devil and his Wife pdf symbolAudio
The Gale
The Rattlesnake Song pdf symbol
The Swimming Song pdf symbol
The Time’s They Are a Changing pdf symbol
There, But for Fortune pdf symbol
Tom and Jerry pdf symbol
Valley Forge pdf symbol
Vladmir’s Steamboat
Wakefield pdf symbol
Walking Back to Texas pdf symbol
Washer Woman
Way Down the Old Plank Road pdf symbol
When I First Came to this Land pdf symbol
Whoop ‘Em Up Cindy pdf symbol