Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Homage to Orange Blossom Special

The fiddle tune "Orange Blossom Special", about the passenger train of the same name, was written by Ervin T. Rouse (1917-1981) in 1938. The original recording was created by Ervin and Gordon Rouse in 1939. It is considered the best known fiddle tune of the twentieth century and is often called simply The Special. It has been referred to as "the fiddle player's national anthem".

By the 1950s, it had become a perennial favorite at bluegrass festivals, popular for its rousing energy. For a long time no fiddle player would be hired for a bluegrass band unless he could play it.

Orange Blossom Special was the official theme song (1949-1977) for the world famous Texas Cowgirls basketball team (owner sports promoter Dempsey Hovland). The Cowgirls barnstormed playing men's basketball rules against male opponents, winning 80% of their 160 or more games per season. The team decked with boleros, western hats, holsters and pistols over their basketball uniforms entered the courts to the tune of Orange Blossom Special. dropping an article of western fashion with each fancy layup, pregame ,setting the crowds on fire.

"For many years Orange Blossom Special has been not only a train imitation piece, but also a vehicle to exhibit the fiddler's pyrotechnic virtuosity. Performed at breakneck tempos and with imitative embellishments that evoke train wheels and whistles, OBS is guaranteed to bring the blood of all but the most jaded listeners to a quick, rolling boil."

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