Here’s a curious tune in G called Western Union from the repertoire of Boone’s Mill / Callaway area old-timer Sherman Wimmer. No kin to Dent Wimmer that I know of, but maybe somehow.  

Sherman was part of the Old Originals project that yielded two LP’s of samples collected from a couple  dozen players from the local area who were still able to remember and play  tunes in the early 1970’s.

If anyone has any more info on this tune then please share it. If it was to be backed up then it seems to have a 1-4-5 chord progression that would lend itself well to being backed up by a piano, sorta like Red Apple Rag. 

I love Sherman’s rhythmic ‘mountain’ style bowing that emphasizes the back-beat as he plays at his ‘perfect’ dance tempo. It would also be fun to back this one up on guitar or banjo with chords and bass runs. The melody here is tightly woven into the rhythm of the bow which makes it pretty cool to play on fiddle in standard ‘violinister’ tuning GDAE. I am working on figuring that out.

Sounds like a lion growling in the background, huh?

Western Union from the repertoire of Boone’s Mill / Callaway area old-timer Sherman Wimmer

Reply from Kerry Blech

Here are two more recordings of “Western Union”.

Howard Maxey on fiddle with Dr. Lloyd on guitar, recorded on 9/22/1927 in Winston-Salem for the Okey label.

2nd one by John Ashby and The Free State Ramblers on County LP 727 “Old Virginia Fiddling, issued in 1970.” Ashby got the tune from  Walter Graham.

Western Union by Howard Maxey and Dr. Lloyd
Western Union by John Ashby

I am attaching two pages I just scanned from “Old Time Music” magazine, issue 43 (Winter 1986/87) from England. I feel it is relevant to the “Western Union” tune.

Old Time Music Magazine Issue 43
Old Time Music Magazine Issue 43 (click to enlarge)
Old Originals Poster
Old Originals Volume One

Best wishes, Kerry