Hey Ho Raggedy-O


My grateful thanks go to my husband and Dear-Companion, Hildebrand.
(A.B. in Classics from Harvard, graduate studies in Linguistics at Indiana University)
for editing, for proofreading, and for listening. Hildebrand has the precise mind of an academic,
the heart of a sentimental poet, and the soul of an artist.
I thank him for exercising all three in helping with this book.


My special thanks also to my dear cousin Joan for her love, support and help.

I also owe my heartfelt thanks to so many friends old and new, among them:

Greg O’Leary, Helen Cahun, and Holly for their enthusiasm about the project and their hospitality. Also to O’Leary for his help with questions about fiddle-playing and dance-tunes generally and, in particular, about mimicry and funny noises played on the fiddle.

Fay Pasky for using her holiday time, in Gympie, to search out information about Robert “Billy” Barlow.

Martin Forster for showing me how Billy Barlow might have played his Locomotive Overture on the banjo.

Fred Pribac for his thoughts on early banjo-playing in Australia.

Doug Wallace who told me about his touring-player ancestors.

Cindy, my new friend in America, great-granddaughter of a Billy Barlow, who is so interested in the book and thinks I’m wonderful.

Rob, the Bloke from Forbes, for sharing the recordings of his Girls, and for sharing his knowledge of Australian songs and singers.

Bill and Mark Thomas of Queensland, who kindly allowed me to tell the story of their Billy Barlow.

Rachael Harrison, reference librarian at the Cooloola Library in Gympie, Queensland, who kindly sent me information about Robert “Billy” Barlow.

Loelene Harrison at the Nambucca District Historical Society, for the information about the showboat called Billy Barlow.

Hilary Griffith at the Castlemaine Historical Society for the newspaper article about Billy Barlow and the old days in Castlemaine.

The staff at the State Library of Victoria in Melbourne, who were so helpful in teaching me how to use the system and the equipment.

The staff of Hamilton Library. This library obtains, for the use of the public, books from other libraries, and absorbs a large part of the cost.





A Study of the Billy Barlow Phenomenon
(written by Joy Hildebrand)

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