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Don Williamson July 12, 2012

Bob Brundage – Well hi again. This is Bob Brundage and today is the 12th of July, 2012, and we’re talking with Don Williamson down in Greenville, Tennessee.  So Don, you’ve had a very successful and lengthy kind of a career and we’re anxious to hear all about it so why don’t you tell us where you were brought up.
 
Don Williamson – Well, I was brought up here in Green County, Greenville, Tennessee and of course was a farm boy. In my early days I was very active in sports and music. I went on to … I attended school here and went to East Tennessee State University and graduated and became a teacher in my early twenties. And then after that, in my twenties, after I was a teacher and a coach for about five years, why I got a job at the local … I was hired as the local Recreation Director for the city of Greenville and that’s where I first started my dance future. I inherited a ballroom dance class. The Recreation Director at the time was Louis Calhoun who was also a caller and I followed him into calling in a sense. I succeeded him and after I took over, then he left, and I took over his program.  I took over the ballroom dance class. We had one dancer, one couple from the west that had a little bit of experience in western style square dancing and they said, “Let’s have a square dance” so we had a square dance and we got introduced to the western square dancing which was just catching on during the ‘50’s there … becoming popular and we got very interested and that’s where it got started. That class became a square dance class, and we moved on from there and now it’s over fifty years later and I’m still at it.
 
BB – There you go. Backing up a little bit, somewhere along the line there you were involved in professional baseball?
 
DW – Yes, when I was born my daddy I think anticipated … he was kind of a semi-pro country ball player and he was sort of interested in baseball. My mother, of course, was a musician. I’ve sort of been a little bit of confused musician and athlete all my life and I ended up a square dance caller (chuckles). But, as far as baseball, I was in … oh, I guess I was eighteen and I was signed to a professional group … the New York Giants organization sent me to Florida and I started. So I played two years of professional baseball. Then they were going to send me out to California or somewhere and I had an opportunity to play some independent ball with some other people and I got involved with that and so, after that I played right much up until I was thirty-five years old.  Then I hurt my leg and got out of it but I’ve really been interested in baseball and other sports all along. So, I’m kinda a confused musician and baseball player I guess at the same time.
 
BB – Right. What position did you play?
 
DW – I was a middle infielder, a shortstop, and I guess the highest part of my career I was playing in a national tournament out in Wichita, Kansas. They have a national tournament of semi-professional baseball players and a lot of the old big wig players and the college stars and different ones, players from different states. The military players and some from the professional ranks were there. They go out there and they’re still having that tournament.
 
BB – Right.
 
 DW – I was selected one year, playing with the local Magnavox team here, I think it was 1956. I was selected All American Shortstop along side three or four the big league players. So, that was sort of the high point of my baseball career.
 
BB – Yes. It sure was. Right. Well. Then a little bit later I understand you did some work in the Mental Handicap ...
 
DW – Yes, from the city recreation job that I mentioned earlier I had a little … I was thinking about going into business with another person but it didn’t turn out too well so I moved from that position and accepted a position as Director of Adjunctive Therapy which was a department head with …
it’s mental health and retardation for the State of Tennessee.
 
So, I got involved with that and even, of course, did some square dancing with those people and so on but I stayed there twenty-four years and, with my teaching background I did retire in my 50s there from that position.
 
BB - Well, that’s great. Well, getting back to square dancing now you were talking Louie Calhoun. I remember that name. So, do you consider him one of your mentors?
 
DW – Yes. Louis was quite a personality. He had a lot to do with the development of square dancing in the Carolinas. He left the position here and went to Winston Salem to take a position with the Recreation and Parks Department. Over there he really got into square dancing in a big way and did a whole lot for square dancing in North Carolina.  Then he was hired down at Fontana Village. You may have heard of Fontana.
 
BB – Yes.
 
DW – It was one of the leading places for people from the Southeast and so forth that used to come in here. And that’s really where I first really got indoctrinated into large groups and they used to have live bands. We’d go over there every Spring and Fall and it was just people from all over the Eastern states would come and we’d have 35 or 40 squares and it was just tremendous. Louis was the director there for awhile and he went on to have quite a career in calling until he got killed in a car wreck. I think he was still in his fifties. But I succeeded him and yeah he would be one of my early mentors. 
 
BB- Yeah. Who were some of the other callers at Fontana?
 
DW – Well, I remember A. B. Coleman was a local caller from this area and then there was a caller over there Jay Orr, and then of course later Tex Brownlee. You remember Tex? 
 
BB – Sure I remember Tex.
 
DW – He took over from Calhoun and he ran the program there at Fontana for several years. Oh, there was the different callers came in from the different states and each week had a different caller and there was just a lot of them. I was one of many that was …
 
BB – Great. So I understand you were also involved with caller schools and you did some ….
 
DW – Yeah I did. I got involved with Cal Golden which I’m sure you know Cal …
 
BB – I do.
 
DW – We did some … of course we did the Red Boot recording so we’ll probably talk about in a minute … but I got involved with Cal. He invited me to come and help him with some of his caller’s schools. I got involved, and I guess that is where I first got interested and then when Callerlab first started that caller coach program with Bob Antwerp, and Cal, and Bob, I think Al Brundage, your brother there was in on it …
 
BB – Yes he was.
 
DW – … different ones. I took the test with Al and with Jon Jones and passed those tests and then I’ve gotten involved and must have done several by myself. I had right much luck, I sort of enjoyed that.  For several years there I had quite a few caller’s schools. 
 
BB – Right. Yes, have you got any well known callers that graduated from your school?
 
DW – Well known callers? Several area callers here. I don’t know of any that would be known too much on a national level. I know over in Carolina … which I’ve called an awful lot in the Carolinas, we had a caller by the name of Richard Silver who is still alive but he is having some physical problems now. Right now Jerry Biggerstaff is calling, you might have heard of Jerry.
 
BB – Yes I’ve heard that …
 
DW – I started Jerry.
 
BB – Well along with your career you must have attended a lot of festivals. Yeah.
 
DW – Oh my goodness. Yeah we started with, I think maybe the first National, it was up in Louisville. They’ve had two or three since then but way back there that was my first one. Then I’ve attended oh many years of the National Conventions and then we did all the Callerlabs for about twenty some years there and then I missed a few … I had some physical problems. But other festivals and weekend dances and things like that. I haven’t called in all the states but most of them. And we’ve been into all of those festivals and things and guest callers and I guess too many to mention.   And of course when we got the Red Boot Boys going, that was a quartet of boys we had, I don’t know if you know that I guess.
 
BB – Yes I was going to ask you about them.
 
DW – We did an awful lot of festivals and weekends and thngs for about a 20 year period there. 
 
BB – Yeah. (chuckles) That sounds like I’ve never heard of any other group like that. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about, you know, where you appeared and what your act was.
 
DW – Oh, well the Red Boot Boys got started … they were all recording with my record label which is Red Boot records. We were doing a festival in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, which was kind of a caller federation type festival and we had a large crowd. Someone just said “you guys get up here and practice together and we’ll all call together”. So we practiced a few songs and most of us kinda had a southern background in gospel music and stuff like that, and we got together and sounded pretty good and we performed that night, oh they liked it, (it) just got started so we just made a thing of it. I guess the biggest boost we got was when Callerlab was in Chicago and we did a performance in Chicago. That got us kind of known all over so we were booked solid for a long time there. Our program was to … we called the dance … each caller would do the patter part and then we’d in four part harmony, we’d do the singing call. And that was primarily the pattern and then at the end of the dance we’d do a 30 or 40 minute concert of just regular music, different … barbershop, country and western, and old favorites and stuff like that. It went over pretty good and we enjoyed it. That was a lot of traveling.
 
BB – Yeah, I’m sure. 
 
DW – We did quite a few. I can recall … a couple of the biggest ones I guess was down there in Houston, Texas. You know the big one they had at Pasadena. We did that two years I think, they must have had 100 and some squares there. That was quite a time down there.    
 
BB – Right, right. You were talking about different experiences, had you ever been out of the country to call?
 
DW – Yeah, I’ve been overseas twice. The first time … Stevens, Al Stevens married a German girl and he went over there and he and I got together and we did a caller’s seminar over there in Frankfort, Germany. I flew over for that and we did a seminar up there in the mountains and we had quite a few of the young German callers and boy those fellas were sharp as a tack. Kenny Reese, was originally a Texas caller … and I believe I saw where he passed away recently. But Kenny was our host there and he has since ….   But I did that one and then later on … Davis … I forget his first name. Davis he’s passed away too, he had us over to do … in England … we did a fest … a weekend with him over there. So I had two trips across there and then across the Pacific I’ve only been to Hawaii. That is still in the US I guess.   But I never did get on over to Japan. I started a time or two. I enjoyed the times over there. We had some interesting experiences over there.
 
BB – I’m sure. Along the way, somewhere along the line, I understand that you were the one that came up with Flutter Wheel.
 
DW – Oh my. Yes I was calling over in Carolina which I used to … goodness knows I used to call all over Carolina throughout the week and then come back and go to work the next day. But I was driving through the mountains and it must have been in the early ‘70s and I was thinking … it was the time when Fan The Top had become … come out and the dancers were having a little trouble getting the girls to use that left hand or something and I was just thinking along those lines, driving along and I said “I wonder what would happen if we let them use their right hand and just do it”. So I sort of wrote that on the road and I got there and I walked them through the Flutter Wheel and they kinda liked it and we adjusted a little bit and this lady says … it was this dentists wife that used to travel with us … and she says that’s a flutter wheel. I didn’t even know what a Flutter Wheel was. It’s some kind of a little … where you put in the creek or in the stream … a little toy thing, they called it a Flutter Wheel. That’s where she got the name. So she actually named it.
 
BB – I’ll be darned.
 
DW - And when I brought it out, some of them like Flippo got a hold of it and I think that’s what made it popular. They started using it. But Willard Orlich is actually the one that … I was trying to call a reverse flutter wheel and I was trying to call it a left ….
 
BB – Oh, I see.
 
DW – Willard Orlich suggested I call it Reverse Flutter Wheel. So I did that. That’s sort of the history behind that.
 
BB – Well that’s interesting. Speaking of Willard Orlich, I just interviewed Ron Schneider. Do you remember him?
 
DW – Oh yeah Ron. Well he and I and Mike Hoose still are calling in Knoxville, we are sort of the staff callers down there. I see him once in awhile. He is a good one. We used to work festivals over at Myrtle Beach. He and I were on the same staff over there and we had some good ones. Ron was a terrific caller.
 
BB – Yeah. And who were some of the other callers that you have worked with.
 
DW – Well I’ve worked with most of them at one time or another but some of the early callers that we had I remember … of course Elmer Scheffield was one of them that kind of got started with our record company. Bob Vinyard, the late Bob Vinyard out of Saint Louis was a good one. One of our early recording callers was Lee Kopman. Ol’ Lee always wanted to do some singing calls. He did a few recordings with us. Oh, I worked with some of the …. I remember Dick Jones and …
 
BB – How about Ed Gilmore?
 
DW – Well I never did … I danced to Ed and some of his music I just really liked. That smooth music but I never did … he was a little before my time. He used to come through here on his travels and we’d go dance to him but I never did get to work with him. 
 
BB – Yeah. How about Les Gotcher?
 
DW – Now Les was along with Flippo and … was where I kinda learned to start calling. Because back then Les had put out some little patter records and of course Flippo had some of his albums and so on … and that’s kinda how we learned to phrase and so on … some of my phrasing is still like old Les. He was … as far as choreography, he was one of our heroes. We had him through here calling for us for a club when I was just starting. But I never did work with him. But we hired him to call for us a few times. He was something else.
 
BB – Yes he was. So, well shall we get talking about Red Boot?
 
DW – Oh I guess that’s a good subject.
 
BB – OK.
 
DW – I was at a developmental center I was just sitting in there … we saw how effective these singing calls were and enjoying music myself, and that was one of the big things and I think now were kind of neglecting the musical side of the activity, I think it’s one of their problems.
 
BB – I agree with you whole heartedly.
 
DW – We said “well I think I’ll just see about making one of these square dance records”. So I booked a studio in Nashville and went down there and had no idea what I was going to do. We picked up … started and did White Christmas and a little patter record. I think I did a beginning class or something but I don’t know what ever happed to that. It sort of got us started and we had a few hits there and of course as you know we all started with the old 78 records. 
 
BB – Sure.
 
DW – After the 45s came in there that’s when I really got to going.  We booked the studio there in Nashville and then later on we got to recording at local studios in Knoxville and it just got to be a thing. That’s along about the time that Elmer came along and we had a few that got popular on the national scene and we just kept doing it. My son he’s a big part of it, he started out playing with the band in the studio when he was about fourteen years old. He’d play a little organ, and he could play rhythm guitar and so on and as the years went along he started … we’d have to … after the musicians left we’d holler for him to come in there and fix something. He is still … in his fifties … and he is a professional musician now. He’s played with a lot of the guys … Lee Greenwood, Louise Mandrell, and people of that level.  But he is …
 
BB – Did you say his …
 
DW - … he has his own studio and he is a music minister. He is still into that. And also, this is interesting, he is … this is the second year at the state convention which comes up here in August … he is getting a band together and they hired him to play live music here at the state convention. 
 
BB – I see.
 
DW – So that’s quite a display. It was real successful last year but I don’t know how it is going to go each year. 
 
BB – Well that’s great. One of the things I wanted to ask you about … many people in the modern generation don’t know what vinyl was. Of course the early records were 78rpm and then they had 33 and 1/3 and then they had the studio records that were even slower than that. I was interested, what was involved … tell us about the transition from vinyl to the more modern methods like CDs.
 
DW – Well, yes I don’t know how that happened, the 45 records, the little ones, the ones that for many years we were all using and quite a few of the callers still use them … and incidentally some of the local newspapers are coming out there with some kind of revival of vinyl recordings taking place, the stores are reopening and so forth.
 
BB – Is that so. 
 
DW – We may see a slight revival in that. What happened there, the digital abilities came along and people could transfer it to … the, the music to CDs and then later on, most of us now are using a laptop computer. I do, I have all of my music on a laptop computer, and I can speed it up, slow it down, raise the pitch up, or lower it which I have to do with my voice problems sometimes, depending on the situation. That’s real helpful. Because you used to if the record was too low or too high or something why we couldn’t do that. That’s kind of replaced records now and that’s the way most callers I think are going, is with the … either that or the CDs or the computers or some kind of tape recorder. Some guys are running around with a telephone. (both chuckle). You can get the whole bunch of things on a little…
 
BB – Yes, right.
 
DW – a cell phone and you can do it that way. Who knows where it is going from here.
 
BB – Yeah. Well, several years ago I interviewed Jim Hilton, of course who came out with the Hilton machine, and he told me at that interview that the day will come when an amplifier will be the size of a pack of cigarettes. And of course that’s pretty well come true now.
 
DW – That pretty well has. 
 
BB – And I also should mention actually that of course some of us remember way back before vinyl, everything was on shellac.   And shellac records were really heavy. And when vinyl came along that saved a lot of space and weight.
 
DW – I believe that was before my time. I don’t …
 
BB – Yeah, well. But anyway, so you actually never had your own studio then, is that right?
 
DW – Yes we had … we’ve had a studio in our house, which we still have. I’m using it for office space. Stan has used in his development. But we’ve also rented music stores and things in Knoxville and all around. We moved around to different places with our own studio. Sometimes we’d go to the larger studio and use it but the way we got the recording instead of having so many different players you’d just have certain ones and they would come in at different times and then you could mix the music, so we’ve had like that. Yeah, we’ve had studios … our own studios all over the place. Stan now, my son, lives in Knoxville and he has a studio in his house now and he is still doing recordings for all kinds of people. And so …
 
BB – Yeah I see.
 
DW - … you don’t have to have those type studios that you used to have with all those acoustic things and so on with all this digital stuff.
 
BB – I remember the first recordings I made with Folkraft and they were in Newark, New Jersey. Frank Kaltman was the owner and he had, he had his studio on his dining room table. 
 
DW – Yeah, Elvis did a lot of his stuff … and just one comment along those lines, my son was telling me the other day, of course everything for awhile was the live music sound or the naturalness.  Like Elvis when those guys performed and everything, there were certain mistakes and things but it was real. Now everything is so perfect it has really taken something away from the sound, so I think that’s what some of the purists are liking. They like to hear some of those … the early sounds like that.   Some of Elvis’ stuff is actually bad.  But it was it, people enjoyed it.
 
BB – You’ve certainly got a great point there. So, well how many recordings did you finally wind up with, do you remember?
 
DW – Well, you know I don’t think I can count them. I know it is well over 1000 because our number system … we had two or three different labels and then I did some stuff for like Cal Golden’s label that I had and Gold Star, along with Red Boot, Red Boot Star. The reason we started Red Boot Star was Elmer, he was a star you know. And we just started it just for him.
 
BB – I see. (chuckles)
 
DW – I started to mention that at Callerlab and never thought of it. But that’s …
 
BB – What other labels were there?
 
DW – We had Red Boot, Red Boot Star, I had a few I released on the Flutter Wheel label, I started. I had two or three pretty good records and now I don’t even have any of them, I don’t know what’s happened to them. We did some and also Ken Anderson had a label Jay-Bar-Kay …
 
BB – Yes.
 
DW - … John Hendron and he started and I bought that label from Ken and so I had quite a few on the Jay-Bar-Kay label and had some that he had recorded and then we did a lot of others. So that was part of our ….
 
BB – So when was it you started with Elmer Sheffield?
 
DW – The first one … you know I don’t remember the exact first one. I remember the first time that he did …that Bob Osgood … that little thing that he had going Sets In Order, he picked a number one and he got the Number One five times in a row there. It was Good Morning Country Rain was his big one and then he had … he had Monday Morning Secretary …
 
BB – Well he was your superstar anyway.
 
DW – He was for awhile.  Then right at the time he was interested in getting into recording and he brought his band up with Stan with our studio and that’s where we recorded Elvira. That one really bloomed. Stan engineered it and his band played it and we did that and after that Elmer started his label ESP. 
 
BB – Well you two have been friends for a long time.
 
DW – Yes, we certainly have. Of course he lives in Tallahassee and it’s a long way off but I’ve been down there a time or two and worked with him. In recent years we just … he has been doing more recording than I have really and of course right now none of us have been doing much because we lose a bunch of money each time you do it. 
 
BB – That’s what I understand.
 
DW – It don’t just pay out. We do a little bit now just because we like it.
 
BB – It’s kinda too bad that when somebody buys a recording and then they pass it around to their friends because it is so easy to do.
 
DW – Oh yeah, everybody does it.
 
BB – And, uh. I hope it is not the end of the recording business somehow …
 
DW – Yeah I don’t know where it’s going to take but that’s, that’s certainly what’s going on. It’s kind of hard on the professional musicians I guess.
 
BB – Yeah, well. Did you always use the same band?
 
DW – No. I used … well there, for like a ten year period, I had about the same group and then, other than Stan, I used different ones. For the last, I guess twenty years, Stan did most of it his self, and then if we wanted to do something blue grassy we’d hire some professional, with those kind of players, you know, fiddle players, banjos, and then we’d hire … we always had a guitar but sometimes different people. He used different ones and then we’d get the recording that I wanted and then he’d mix it down and we’d go from there. So as far as us having one band come in and playing everything, that didn’t last long in the early years you see. Some musician was always out of the socket and we’d have to replace him with somebody. 
 
BB - Well, you’re not doing much calling these days, or are you?
 
DW – Yes, I’m busy all the time. I don’t travel like I did but I’ve got like a … up in the East Tennessee area here … I’ve called over in Ashville, I had a club for 44 years, it was a great club. Many times I’ve been over the mountain but I have … I still call for a club here in Johnson City up in the tri cities in Tennessee here and then I call … occasionally call … we don’t have very many clubs anymore … Tennessee east and I go down at Knoxville.  So I guess I call for about three clubs and then I have a little old group … I have an advanced group and a C1 group, just a small group that we call for them once a week. And since that is not enough I do the line dancing. I’ve gotten into that about twenty years ago and it’s just been successful so I do quite a bit of the line dance teaching in the senior centers and stuff like that. 
 
BB – I see, yeah.
 
DW – So it keeps me going pretty much. I’m eighty one now and I’m gonna try to keep going as long as I can. 
 
BB – Well that’s great. So uh, is your voice problem going to be more of a problem?
 
DW – I think I have it manageable. What it is, it’s voice tremor. They diagnosed it at Vanderbilt and it’s a uncontrollable vibration of the vocal chords.
 
BB – I see.
 
DW – It’s an inherited thing with certain people. It’s in our family. My son has it, my mother had it, I have a cousin that had it and it kinda … as you get a little older it kinda gets worse and hard for us to sustain a note and you know sing like you’d like to. But this Botox thing … and now at Vanderbilt … you know, like the women have a Botox shot to make them pretty we … that’s what they use and they put in the vocal chord a Botox shot. So I go down there about three times a year now.  I’ll go back in September, and I’ll just do it one side at a time, because if you do both sides it puts you out of business for about two weeks … two or three weeks till you can get back to talking and I can’t afford that so …
 
BB – Sure.
 
DW … I just do one at a time. A lot of musicians and teachers and singers and people are down there so they are very professional at Vanderbilt. This keeps me … it’s not great but as you can tell you can understand me and I can sing and still do my thing so I think it will enable me to keep going for awhile. 
 
BB – Well that’s great. And so … well speaking of calling I know you said you’re calling Advanced and a little bit of C1, do you do any contras?
 
DW – Yes, I do a little bit of everything I guess. I don’t do a lot but I do some … like the Virginia Reel and Manning’s Mixer and things like that. I have very successfully, for the last, I guess, 15 years, I have some college groups of young people. I’ll get … they book me every year for their specials and some of the groups are church affiliated and so on. But we’ll have as many as 100 to 150 kids at one time. The contra, especially the Virginia Reel, I use the dickens out of that.
 
BB – Well, how about round dances?
 
DW – Well Mildred and I used to do a little of that and it looks like I’m going to have to come up with something, we are just about out of cuers up here in the upper east. The only one we got left has a cancer problem. We don’t know if she is going to make it so I’ve been playing tapes or CDs, rather I have it on my computer and am doing it that way. And I just have done a little of it and I do round dance but I don’t think with my voice I want to try it myself. If I could start over I might do that.
 
BB – (chuckles) There you go.
 
DW – Cueing. The way it goes now to call and cue both and do a lot of it you’ll just about wear your voice out. I know because Bob Burns down there in Florida just about did that. He’d do so many sessions of squares … he would call C1 and everything else and then cue rounds. His voice would wear out every winter there. I don’t know how he’s been doing lately.
 
BB – (chuckles) Right. Well Don during your career, your long successful career, what’s the outstanding accomplishment that you are proud of?
 
DW – Outstanding accomplishment? Well, …
 
BB – Probably Red Boot.
 
DW - … I think probably. We have a few records there that I think have been … like Jacqueline’s Waltz in round dancing has been pretty well nationally known. And then we did some like Elmer’s … some of his stuff and two or three that I did … Pink Cadillac and some of them that was met at national. I guess that as far as … the Red Boot Boys would have to be the biggest accomplishment as far as making the biggest noise. Our caller’s schools, I enjoyed working with the callers and helping these guys get started.  And some of the festivals that we did … it’s hard to pick … we did a lot of seminars there with Callerlab and stuff for a few years, and music stuff and I enjoyed that. It’s hard to pick. I think if I had to pick the one thing I remember the most was the year, I think it was the first … I don’t know whether it was the first one or not … the National they had in Anaheim. The following year they were going to have the National in Memphis and they had gotten ready to do … to call the record Night Train to Memphis. I had just recorded that for John Hendron and at the … I think that was the year that they had almost 40,000 at the National Convention out there. 
 
BB – Oh yes.
 
DW – That was the year and then when they had the parade of states, all the people came in there, and golly there must have been 300 squares, I’ve never seen so many dancers. I was gonna do … I followed Charlie Pride who did the National Anthem and I followed and did the first tip with that many dancers there. I did the Night Train to Memphis, because Memphis was the … a lot of them was on the floor because they were pushing the next year’s convention you know. To me that was one of the highlights that I’ve had in my career. To do the Night Train to Memphis and to invite everybody to Tennessee for the next year.
 
BB – Yes, well. After all that do you have any regrets? Do you wish you had done anything differently? 
 
DW – Well, regrets? I don’t know. I wish I had the answer as to how to recruit better and get the necessary advertising and programming and so on. As far as my own … I’ve really had five or six professions. And it seems that I’ve ended up the main one, because this is now about the 53rd year in square dance calling and I guess I’ve enjoyed it and I hope I’ll have more years to come.
 
BB – Right. OK. Well I think we’re getting down near the end unless you can think of anything you’d like to mention and put on the tape. 
 
DW – Well, no, the only thing that I can say is that I wish I could figure out how to advertise and get more people involved and I know we’re all looking for the magic way to do that. We’ve had such a drop off in our attendance and it’s hard to understand why. I know in this part of the country square dancing itself just doesn’t have a good reputation. You mention square dancing to people and it, it just kind of turns them off. They think your doing he-haw clog dancing or something and they don’t understand the class of people involved and all of that, and we’ve tried over the years to overcome that but until you get them there and you introduce them to it, and they see it, it’s hard to reach them. And I guess I looking for some way to do that. 
 
BB – Well of course that’s what Callerlab’s been trying to do ever since they started.
 
DW – That’s true.
 
BB – Yeah.
 
DW – But I’ve had quite a career and my wife and I, I don’t know what we would have done if we weren’t square dancing every night someplace. So it’s been quite a ride. 
 
BB – Yes it has. Well, so I think then maybe we’ll call this the end of the tape. I see the tape is about to run out anyway.
 
DW – Well Bob I appreciate you interviewing me and I hope to see you again sometime. 
 
BB – Right. Well I want to thank you too for taking the time and exercising your voice a little more than you had to (chuckles) …
 
DW – Oh that’s all right.
 
BB – We do have quite a collection of these tapes and they are all available on the New England … Square Dance Foundation of New England’s web site. We’ll be talking more about that so let’s just call this a day and I’ll talk to you again later. 
 
DW – Ok thanks Bob very much.  I enjoyed it.
 
BB – Thank you Don I enjoyed it too.
 
DW – Bye.
 
BB – Bye.
 

(End of tape with Don Williamson)

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Written By: Bob Brundage
Date Posted: 8/27/2012
Number of Views: 546

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