Turkey in the Straw, Turkey Medley Part One

As played by Clayton McMichen from the Georgia region

Reel or Breakdown in G

From the Clayton McMichen Collection

5 files for this tune:

Melody-Only Transcription (PDF)
Full Transcription (PDF)
Melody-Only Transcription of Entire Medley (PDF)
Full Transcription of Entire Medley (PDF)


78rpm Record


This transcription is sponsored by Dr. Fiddle contributor Patrick Towell.

Clayton McMichen recorded this medley of Turkey in the Straw, Old Hen Cackle, and Fiddler’s Dram (AKA Jenny Lind) in 1939. This is perhaps the most diverse of the several medleys he recorded over the years, consisting of a breakdown, a novelty tune, and a polka. In Turkey and Hen, McMichen used various techniques to imitate poultry noises, but he played Dram straight.

McMichen’s rendition of Turkey is notable for its syncopation, some of which is achieved by ties. Look out for slides, ties, sixteenth noes, and grace notes. Some of the slides were used to imitate poultry noises, and so were not exactly on-pitch.

This tune is a member of the following groups:

Turkey in the Straw, Old Zip Coon, Natchez Under the Hill, Sugar in the Gourd

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