Ben Cotton's Clog Dance

Buckley's Banjo Guide, Cover Buckley's Banjo Guide, Preface Ben Cotton's Clog Dance

James Buckley led a minstrel troupe that he headlined.  His song book collected and credited many minstrel tunes that were popular in 1868.  Whatever lyrics might have been written for any of these songs were not included.  The scores for his anthology of minstrelsy are a touchstone for banjo enthusiasts. Buckley's generosity also included practical advice for those who would make their own banjo. (See the preface.)  The history of this instrument has American origins in slavery and racism, as is true of minstrelsy in general. 

For an illustrated history of the evolution of the instrument and its manufacturing industry see Philip F. Gura & James F. Bollman's, America's Instrument:  the Banjo in the Nineteeth Century.  Chapel Hill:  University of North Carolina Press, 1999.