Apple Time (Billy in the Low Ground)

As played by Gene Goforth from the Missouri region

Reel or Breakdown in C

From the Gene Goforth Collection

3 files for this tune:

Melody-Only Transcription (PDF)
Full Transcription (PDF)


Video recording made by John Hartford and posted on YouTube


Missouri fiddler Gene Goforth either played Billy in the Low Ground under two titles, or else it was retitled in one place. I have found three recordings of him playing this tune: a YouTube video with John Hartford under the title Apple Time, on the Strike Up the Bow album again under the name Apple Time, and on the compilation album Now That’s a Good Tune: Masters of Traditional Missouri Fiddling from Voyager Records. I have transcribed both Apple Time from the video, as it is less grassy than the version from Strike Up the Bow, and Billy in the Low Ground from the compilation album.

This transcription is of the aforementioned YouTube video. Goforth played some really nice bluesy variations. The A part the second time through has an extra two beats, which I believe was probably a mistake on Goforth’s part. Other parts and repetitions are not crooked. One of my favorite variations occurs in the third line of the B part the third time through the tune. Listen closely to the video recording to get a feel for the timing there.


This tune is a member of the following groups:

Billy in the Low Ground

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