The Golden Griffon Stringtet
Les Raber

Les Raber Michigan fiddler

Leslie "Red" Raber was born March 14, 1911 in Allegan County, Michigan. He played old-time, Michigan-style, dance fiddle for 80 years from age 10 until his death in 2000 at age 90. Lesplayed in a time when respect for one's partner was the primary consideration on the dance floor. The music he learned from his grandfather and neighbors was lively and spirited, yet relaxed and graceful, giving a person plenty of opportunity to enjoy the dance and their partner's company.

The Les Raber Memorial Foundation is dedicated to preserving the music of Les Raber and promoting old-time dance fiddling in Michigan through the production of books and recordings and the presentation of programs and performances about Les Raber and Michigan fiddling. Askabout the Les Raber Memorial Foundation.

The Les Raber Tune Book



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"... this would be an ideal addition to the library of any fiddler."
- Paul Anastasio, Fiddler Magazine, Winter 06/07

The 5th edition (2013) of the Come Dance With Me tune book is a must-have item for any lover of old-time fiddle tunes. Its 228 pages contain a biography of Les, pictures, anecdotes from friends, an interview of Les and Varsal Fales by Eliot Singer and 182 tunes from Les's repertoire in standard notation with chords. These include original compositions by Les, old-time favorites, rare pieces from Gems of the Ballroom and several tunes from his grandfather that have never before been published.

All proceeds from the sale of Les Raber items go to the Les Raber Memorial Foundation for the preservation and continuation of old-time Michigan fiddling.

The tunes in the tunebook are:

Acrobat's Reel, The
Alexander's Reel
All Hands 'Round Quad. fig. 3
Among The Clouds
Arkansas Traveler
Barbara Polka
Beautiful Dreamer
Big Sandy River
Bill Bailey
Bill White
Billy in the Lowground
Black Velvet Waltz
Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain
Boom Quadrille fig. 4, The
Bridal Jig, The
Buffalo Gals
By Heck
Cabri Waltz
Caledonia Quadrille
Charmaine
Clarinet Polka
Cub Berdan Jig
Cub Berdan Quadrille
Dan Ried
Darktown Strutter's Ball
Darling Nellie Gray
Death Valley Waltz
Detroit Schottische
Devil's Dream, The
Dill Pickle Rag
Douglas' Favorite Hornpipe
Dreamy Melody
Drifting and Dreaming
Dummy Song, The
Durang's Hornpipe
Efterkaelken
Farmer's Reel, The
Fascination Quadrille fig. 3
Fisher's Hornpipe
Fisherman's Favorite
Forester's Hornpipe
Free From Care Quad. fig. 1
Free From Care Quad. fig. 3
Girl I Left Behind Me, The
Golden Eagle Hornpipe
Gordon's Waltz
Grampa Raber's
Grandad Raber's #1
Grandad Raber's #2
Grandad Raber's #2 variation
Grandad Raber's #3
Grandad Raber's Two-Step
Green Mountain Waltz
Hasselby Steppen Polka
Haste to the Wedding
Hastings Breakdown
Heel & Toe Polka
Helena Polka
Home Sweet Home
How Ya Gonna Keep 'Em Down On The Farm
I'm Not So Young As I Used To Be
In The Garden
Irish Trot, The
Irish Washerwoman, The
Jane Kaylor
Jane Oaker
Jig in A
Jimmy's Favorite Jig
Johnson Rag, The
Jolly Girls
Julida Polka
Just So Quadrille fig. 1
Just So Quadrille fig. 3
Kentucky Waltz
Leather Britches
Les Raber's Schottische
Les Raber's Two-Step
Les Raber's Unfinished Waltz
Lewis Demski
Liberty
Life On The Ocean Wave
Little Burnt Potato
Little Gem Polka
Little Red Barn
Liverpool Hornpipe
Lloyd Kilts
Maggie Brown's Favorite
March of St. Timothy
Margie
Mason's Apron
Miller's Reel
Missouri Waltz
Money Musk
Moon Over Lake Erie
Moonbeam Waltz
Mountain Belle Schottische
Mrs. Torrey's Two-Step
Muskrat Ramble
My Best Girl Quad. fig. 1
My Little Girl
Naughty Boy Schottische
New Money Musk
Niskayuna Ramble
Oh! Susanna
Oh, You Beautiful Doll
Old Hickory
On The Sunny Side Of The Street
Opera Reel
Orlie Smith's Tune
Over the Waves
Pap & Mam
Park Avenue
Peek A Boo Waltz
Pig Ankle Rag
Pigtown Fling
Pretty Baby
Princess of Wales, The
Put Your Little Foot
Raber's Reel
Ragtime Annie
Ramona
Ramsey Schottische
Ramsey Waltz
Ranger Waltz
Red Haired Boy
Red River Waltz
Redwing
Repasz Band March
Rickett's Hornpipe
Right & Left Six
Rosemary
Russ Craven's Schottische
Rusty Nail
Rye Waltz
Sally Waters
Seamus O'Brien
Shenaniquh's Hornpipe
Silver Star Hornpipe
Slip Away Schottische
Smiles
Snow Waltz
Soldier's Joy
Somewhere My Love
Sophrinia
Southwind
Star Over Norway
Stewart Carmichael
Still On The Hill
Stolen Sweets
Stone's Rag
Sunday
Temperance Reel
Tenstrike Quadrille fig. 1
Tenstrike Quadrille fig. 3
Tenstrike Quadrille fig. 4
There's Something Nice
Ticknor's Reel
Turkey in the Straw
Unknown 2
Unknown 3
Unknown 4
Unknown 7
Unknown 8
Unknown 9
Unknown 10
Unknown 12
Unknown 13
Unknown 14
Unknown 16
Unknown 20
Unknown 21
Unknown 22
Varsal's Tune
Wake Up Susan
Waltz You Saved For Me, The
When Your Old Wedding Ring Was New
Whispering
Whistling Rufus
Willow Waltz
Wooster Oddity
You Can't Break My Heart
Come Dance With Me
Fair Fiddlers, The
Les Raber's Jig
Raber Waltz


If you’d like to see and hear the "Unknown" tunes and help determine their identity, visit the Mystery Tunes page. Contact us if you know anything about any of these tunes.



Les Raber Recordings



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Come Dance With Me...Again!

The Come Dance With Me. . . Again! CD (2007) contains field recordings, homemade cassette recordings and unreleased studio takes of some of the rarest tunes in Les Raber's unique repertoire. The delightful music of Michigan's old-time dance bands and fiddlers in the authentic style is preserved in the repertoire of Les Raber.

All proceeds from the sale of Les Raber items go to the Les Raber Memorial Foundation for the preservation and continuation of old-time Michigan fiddling.

The tunes are:
Unknown #3
Alexander's Reel
Unknown #2
Jane Kaylor
Grandpa Raber's #1
Dan Reid
Unknown #4
Moon Over Lake Erie
Tenstrike Quadrille fig. 1
I'm Not So Young As I Used To Be
Lewis Dembski
Wooster Oddity
Peek-A-Boo Waltz
Naughty Boy Schottische
Grandpa Raber's #2
LLoyd Kilts' Quadrille
Unknown #7
Put Your Little Foot
Irish Trot
Jolly Girls
Orlie Smith's Tune
The Farmer's Reel
Tenstrike Quadrille fig. 3
Fisherman's Favorite
Russ Craven's Schottische
Mrs. Torrey's Two-Step
Right & Left Six
Little Gem Polka
Red River Waltz
Sally Waters
New Money Musk
Unknown #10
Turnpike Reel
Stolen Sweets
Slip Away Schottische
Unknown #16
Rickett's Hornpipe
Shenaniquh's Hornpipe
Unknown #9
Unknown #14
Heel & Toe Polka
Grandpa Raber's Two-Step
Les Raber's Two-Step



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Come Dance With Me...A Little More

The Come Dance With Me. . . A Little More CDs (2003) contain all the tracks from the Come Dance With Me cassettes (1996) PLUS 18 selections from Les's 1986 solo recording Old Time Fiddle including 3 never-before-heard tracks from the studio session that were not included in the final release.

All proceeds from the sale of Les Raber items go to the Les Raber Memorial Foundation for the preservation and continuation of old-time Michigan fiddling.

Volume One:
Raber's Reel
Les Raber's Schottische
Ranger Waltz
Ticknor's Reel (Varsal's Tune)
Darling Nellie Gray
The Bridal Jig
Pap & Mam
Hasselby Steppen Polka
Home Sweet Home
Sophrinia
Jig in A
Gordon's Waltz
Unknown #8
Durang's Hornpipe
Stewart Carmichael
Black Velvet Waltz
Red Wing
Bill Bailey
Cub Burdan Jig
Cub Burdan Quadrille
Ramsey Waltz
Ramsey Schottische
Maggie Brown's Favorite
Among The Clouds
Dill Pickle Rag
Big Sandy River
Green Mountain Waltz
Clarinet Polka
Park Avenue
Grandpa Raber's
Volume Two:
Willow Waltz
The Acrobat's Reel
Little Red Barn
Turkey in the Straw
Leather Britches
Ten Strike Quadrille fig. 4
Seamus O'Brien
My Best Girl Quadrille fig. 1
Moonbeam Waltz
Fascination Quadrille fig. 3
Jane Oaker
Ramona
Just So Quadrille fig. 1
Just So Quadrille fig. 3
Bill White
The Waltz You Saved For Me
Arkansas Traveler
The Rye Waltz
Whistling Rufus
Jimmy's Favorite Jig
Death Valley Waltz
Still On The Hill
Unknown #13
Oh, You Beautiful Doll
Free From Care Quadrille fig. 3
Free From Care Quadrille fig. 1
Rusty Nail
Over the Waves
Wake Up Susan
Devil's Dream
Cabri Waltz



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Come Dance With Me

The original Come Dance With Me cassettes (1996) contain 43 selections in Les Raber's unmatchable style; lively, spirited, graceful and ever mindful of the fact that you're on the dance floor to enjoy yourself.

All proceeds from the sale of Les Raber items go to the Les Raber Memorial Foundation for the preservation and continuation of old-time Michigan fiddling.


Volume One:
Raber's Reel
Just So Quadrille fig. 3
Ranger Waltz
Pap & Mam
Hasselby Steppen Polka
Sophrinia
Jig in A
Gordon's Waltz
Durang's Hornpipe
Stewart Carmichael
Black Velvet Waltz
Cub Berdan Jig
Cub Berdan Quadrille
Ramsey Waltz
Ramsey Schottische
Maggie Brown's Favorite
Among The Clouds
Big Sandy River
Green Mountain Waltz
Clarinet Polka
Park Avenue
Grampa Raber's
Volume Two:
Willow Waltz
The Acrobat's Reel
Little Red Barn
Tenstrike Quadrille fig. 4
Seamus O'Brien
My Best Girl Quadrille fig. 1
Jane Oaker
Ramona
Just So Quadrille fig. 1
Just So Quadrille fig. 3
Bill White
The Waltz You Saved For Me
Whistling Rufus
Jimmy's Favorite Jig
Death Valley Waltz
Still On The Hill
Fascination Quadrille fig. 3
Rusty Nail
Over the Waves
Wake Up Susan
Devil's Dream
Cabri Waltz






Michigan Fiddlers & History
More information about many of Michigan's early fiddlers and their stories can be found atMichiganFiddle.com