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Henry Ford's Dance Revival and Fiddle Contests: Myth and Reality

  • PAUL M. GIFFORD (a1)

Henry Ford's interest in reviving the dances of his youth and publicizing old fiddlers was a major media phenomenon of the 1920s. The claims of one fiddler became the source of the often repeated, but erroneous, assertion that Ford sponsored a national fiddlers' contest, which in turn has become a part of country music lore. This article, based mostly on archival sources and newspapers, attempts to describe the particular musical and dance traditions that interested Ford, his personal activities and ambitions in this area, his motivations, and the larger popular interest in the subject itself.

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Journal of the Society for American Music
  • ISSN: 1752-1963
  • EISSN: 1752-1971
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