Old Time Mandolin Music

Wink the Other Eye

This version of Wink the Other Eye comes from a Summer 2001 Old Time Ensemble class. My version of Wink the Other Eye has been mando-ized.  You’ll notice in the first measure I use eighth  notes to “sustain” the G and F# notes.  If you are a fiddle player, just play those G and F# as half-notes.  Ditto for any other similar eighth note combinations that you might find in my transcription.

This version of tune most closely resembles the way Hack’s String band played the tune.  More about available recordings in a second.

I just got a copy of Gus Meade’s definitive book on commercial Country Music traditional recordings between 1921 and 1942 titled Country Music Sources: A Biblio-Discography of Commercially Recorded Traditional Music.  So, I’m looking at Country Music Sources to get some info on recordings of this tune.  Too late 19th century composers make claim to having composed the tune and included words!

According to Guthrie’s book Hack’s String Band was the third group to record Wink the Other Eye for commercial release.  The other two recordings by Theron Hale & His Daughters on Vocalion in 1928 (two violins with piano accompaniment) and Jess Young’s Tennessee Band on Columbia in 1929 were never released.

You can listen to the Hack’s String Band version of Wink the Other Eye on Disc 4 of Yazoo Record’s Kentucky Mountain Music: Classic Recordings of the 1920s & 1930s CD box set (Yazoo 2200).

Craig Ventresco’s group Bo Grumpus recorded a version Wink the Other Eye that is similar to the Hack’s String Band version on their CD titled Bo Grupmus Plays String Band Classics.

Missouri fiddler Lonnie Roberston recorded a more ornate version of Wink the Other Eye on his CD from Rounder Records titled Lonnie's Breakdown - Classic Fiddle Music from Missouri.  The now defunct Foghorn String Band also recorded a “Lonnie Roberston inspired version” of Wink the Other Eye on their Weiser Sunrise CD.

One last interesting recording of Wink the Other Eye to note can be found on the compilation CD that accompanies Drew Beisswenger and Gordon McCann’s Ozarks Fiddle Music book.  On the accompanying CD Wink the Other Eye is played by Art Galbraith and is a field recording that’s part of the Gordon McCann collection.  At the beginning of the selection, Art says that he learned the tune from Lonnie Roberston.

Probably more than you care or ever wanted to know about Wink the Other Eye.  Music below.

Download a pdf of Wink the Other Eye -> Click WinkTheOtherEye.pdf