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Slayton (Slaton) Waltz
Posted by: Blake Slayton (ID *****6142) Date: February 14, 2007 at 19:13:58
  of 582

I'm looking for information on the composer of an old fiddle tune entitled "Slayton Waltz." I found the tune in an old 1970 sheet music book called "The Fiddle Book" by Marion Thede. It was listed under the chapter "Oklahoma Tunes and Tunesters." The book reads:

"There are also many nameless tunes which are played, as well as other melodies named for the Oklahoma fiddlers who composed them, and which are known only locally. This is true of a melody called Slayton Waltz.

"Around 1898 Tom Slayton was a saloon man in Mangum, passing out whiskey straights and sidecars at his place of business on the southwest corner of the square. One Saturday night that fall Slayton was playing for a dance four or five miles northeast of Mangum at the home of "Widder Coates."

"Some time after the dance was in full swing Slayton played the strains of an unfamiliar waltz. When pressed for information he admitted that the melody was his own. Other fiddlers learned it, and Slayton's Waltz became a popular dance number."

Although some of my g-g-great grandfather's brothers and sisters moved to Oklahoma from Randolph County, Arkansas around this timeframe, I don't think this Tom Slayton is from my line. The only Tom Slaytons I have in my line were either too young or dead to have been the same man.

I found a Tom N. Slaton in the 1920 U.S. Federal Census residing in Mangum, Oklahoma. He was born about 1853 in Georgia and would have been 45 yoa when his waltz was introduced to the public (in 1898, according to the music book). According to the census he was married to Dally (Smith) and had two children, Laura Bell and Fairford. His 66-year father-in-law, Dan B. Smith, was listed as residing with them.

This Tom Slaton is probably not from the Virginia-Tennessee-Arkansas line of Slaytons from which I descend, but I am interested in knowing more about him. Perhaps he comes from another branch out of the immigrant John Sladding's line out of Virginia. Maybe we are related somehow, I don't know.

In any event, I was looking to see if someone had this gentleman in their tree, and if so, would you like to share your information with me?

Also, I transcribed the music into Songwriter software and have converted in into a MIDI file if anyone is interested in hearing it.

My email address is blake_slayton@msn.com.

Regards,


Blake Slayton


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