Sam and Elzie

This tune was heard by us from the Canote Brothers at Fiddletunes and from there we play it often, a favorite.


Andy found this story of it's origins.... coicidently it's an Illinois tune (SoCal fiddler the late Mel Durham was from there, we all love the Illionois sounds from the Volo Bogtrotters and the Indian Creek Delta Boys, the Canotes are from Seattle, and Voyager Records in is the Northwest, Seattle maybe. It  all makes perfect sense.

No coincidences to any of this.

Thanks Andy for this:

"Some tidbits from Voyager Records' (Phil & Vivian Williams) site:
Bray, Wilson - Wilson Bray was born in Illinois in 1918, the first of 

eight children of Montie and Hallie Bray. His father was a fiddle and  

banjo player, and Wilson learned to play dance tunes on the fiddle from 

him at an early age, and played at the many square dances his parents 

put on.  He also became a classical violinist and at age14 played a 

weekly radio broadcast over station WILL in Champaign, Illinois. At 

age16 he played in the first violin section of the University of 

Illinois Symphony Orchestra and for numerous operas  for the University 

Theatrical Department. During this time he also taught violin at the 

McKinney Conservatory of Music. In later years as an adult he played in 

the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra and Pasadena Symphony Orchestra. Wilson 

Bray was the brother of well known banjoist Harley Bray. In 1995, he 

came to Seattle to attend the Northwest Folklife Festival. Mr. Bray was 

one of those rare fiddlers today who was also trained as a classical 

violinist and could switch seamlessly from playing violin in the local 

symphony orchestra to playing a dance. We were anxious to meet Mr. Bray 

as we had been playing bluegrass with Harley and Shera Bray for some 

time and had learned a tune called Sam & Elzie from Harley, who played 

it on the banjo, but said it was a fiddle tune his brother, Wilson, 

played. Wilson learned it from their father. It is believed that the 

tune was named for Sam and Elzie Crutchfield, father and son, who ran 

square dances in the early 1900s near Omega, Illinois. So, when Wilson 

was here we had a great jam session with him and finally heard Sam & 

Elzie played on the fiddle. At the same jam session, Wilson played a 

tune he wrote, which the Brays named after their brother Darwan. Harley 

Bray is playing banjo, Shera Bray, guitar, Phil Williams, bass."


So there it is...Sam and Elzie.


listen to Vivian and Phil Williams themselves  tell about it and play it:


Add new comment

Play Play
  • A) Stairway to Heaven
  • B) Angeline the Baker
  • C) Amazing Grace

Please answer with the letter that corresponds to the correct answer. If you know anything about old-time music, you should be able to answer the question without listening. The purpose of this question is to try to thwart spam robots.

Refresh Type the characters you see in this picture. Type the characters you see in the picture; if you can't read them, submit the form and a new image will be generated. Not case sensitive.  Switch to audio verification.