The Dillards – Great Harmony Singing and a lot of Humor – Bluegrass of the 1960s

I have recently heard a great song by the Dillards – Hey Boys. In this song you can hear the fantastic harmony-singing of the Dillards.

I would like to take the chance to present the Dillards in this blog. You can find detailed information about the Dillards in the wikipedia article (see below).

The Dillards have been engaged for the Andy Griffith Show in 1963 where they played the band The Darlings. The Darlings were the first band who brought Bluegrass to a wider audience in the USA.

The Andy Griffith Show

Though The Dillards were already an established bluegrass band, their biggest claim to fame is performing musically as members of the fictional Darling family on The Andy Griffith Show, introducing bluegrass to many Americans who had never heard it.

The appearances of the Dillards as the Darlings ran between 1963 and 1966.

The following video fromthe Judy Garland Show in 1963 is one of the funniest Bluegrass videos that I have seen up to now:

The Dillards – Buckin’ Mule – Judy Garland Show 1963

The Dillards are also known to be the first band that played the tune “Duelin’ Banjo” in 1963 in the Andy Griffith Show, a tune that has later become very popular.

Playlist “The Dillards”

The playlist contains some complete concert videos at the end. Enjoy the Dillards!


Additional Information

Wikipedia about  The Dillards

Wikipedia about “Dueling Banjos”


Sugar in the Gourd – A great fiddle tune

Today I have played some tunes from Butch Baldassari’s book 30 Fiddle Tunes for Mandolin Taught by Butch Baldassari – including a tune named “Sugar in the Gourd” which was fun to play.

I have looked for some youtube videos and found some great performances of this tune as well as some very old recordings like the following recorded in 1930:

SUGAR IN THE GOURD by Gid Tanner and his Skillet Lickers with Riley Puckett and Clayton McMichen. Recorded in 1930. Good, old timey foot stompin’ hillbilly music. Enjoy!


Sugar in the Gourd is an oldtime tune, but it is also a tune that can be played in a bluegrass style. It is mostly played by the fiddle, the other instruments are mostly playing the acompaniment.

I recommend that you listen to my playlist and select your favorite version of the tune. The tune is a fast tune, a good tune to practice speed.

Sugar in the gourd was the song of the week in the Mandolin Cafe in May 2012 – in the thread about this tune you can find more information and other videos with mandolins.

Playlist “Sugar in the Gourd”


Sheet music

I can recommend the Butch Baldassari book – the tunes are all great to play and the CD that comes with the book helps to play the tunes properly.

You can find some free sheet music links for Sugar in the Gourd in my link collection sugar in the gourd

“30 Fiddle Tunes for Mandolin Taught by Butch Baldassari” (amazon partnerlink)

Music for Play – Claudio Mandonico – Compositions for Mandolin Orchestra

Claudio Mandonico is a composer from Italy. He has composed some of the most played modern pieces for mandolin orchestra. Especially his suite “Music for Play” is a great work that’s fun to play and also great to listen to. The “Suite Spagnola” includes typical Spanish music like the Habanera and the Pelota. The Jazz Rock Pop Suite includes three movements, especially the final Stomp is a great piece for encores.

If you are looking for interesting, modern pieces for your mandolin orchestra you should check the works by Claudio Mandonico.

I have compiled a playlist with all the videos of compositions by Mandonico for mandolin orchestra. And I have compiled playlists for each of the compositions to make it easier to listen to the music (I am trying to mve the best versions to the beginning of the playlist).

You can find videos of the following compositions:

  • Music for Play
  • Preludio e fuga
  • Improvviso
  • Jazz Pop Rock Suite
  • Ceciliana, variazioni su un tema di M. Roach
  • 5 Variazioni Sul tiperatatupeti
  • Suite Spagnola
  • Raveliana
  • Riflessi sull’acqua (Reflections on the water)
  • Calace Rag
  • Esortazione e danza
  • Invenzione a due (mandolin & mandola)


Playlist – Music for Play

Playlist – Suite Spagnuola

Playlist – Jazz Pop Rock Suite


More Playlists:

Claudio Mandonico: Preludio e fuga

Claudio Mandonico: Improvviso

Claudio Mandonico: Ceciliana

Claudio Mandonico: 5 Variazioni Sul tiperatatupeti

Claudio Mandonico: Raveliana

Claudio Mandonico: Riflessi sull’acqua

Claudio Mandonico: Calace Rag

Claudio Mandonico: Epitafio di Sicilo

Claudio Mandonico: Invenzione a due

Claudio Mandonico: Esortazione e danza

Playlist Claudio Mandonico – all videos

Additional Information

Wikipedia (NL) about Claudio Mandonico

Most of the works by Claudio Mandonico have been published by Trekel:

Compositions by Mandonico available by Trekel Publishing Company, Hamburg

Songbook Choro – Murmurando by Otaviano Romeiro Monteiro – Fon-Fon (61)

In the Songbook Choro you can find 97 of the best known and mostly played choros from Brazil. On my website

I have compiled youtube videos of many of the 97 choros and also some information. I have recently started to check and update my youtube playlists with choros and will post more choro posts in my blog.

Murmurando is a choro by Otaviano Romeiro Monteiro who is better known as Fon-Fon.

Let’s start with a version sung by Odete Amaral from 1944:

An early version played by Jacob do Bandolim:

In my playlists you can find more verison with:

  • Victor Angeleas (Bandolim) und Junior Ferreira (Akkordeon)
  • Roda de Choro de Lisboa (mit Klarinette und Akkordeon)
  • Nicolas Krassik (Violine)
  • Nilze Carvalho (Bandolim)
  • Joel Nascimento (Bandolim) – tolle Aufnahme eines Konzertes in Japan
  • Choro das 3

and others.

Playlist Songbook Choro No. 61 – Murmurando by Fon Fon

Playlist 2 – Murmurando

Additional Information

Wikipedia about Otaviano Romero Monteiro (Fon Fon)

Otaviano Romeiro Monteiro (Santa Luzia do Norte, 31 de janeiro de 1908 – Atenas, 10 de agosto de 1951), mais conhecido como Fon-Fon, foi um compositor, maestro e instrumentista brasileiro. Foi o primeiro maestro a utilizar naipes de saxofones, trombones e trompetes, dando a sua orquestra uma sonoridade especial.

Songbook Choro pages on my website MandoIsland

Post about Fon-Fon in the Choro-Blog

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