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Les Gotcher 
Square Dance Caller
Les Gotcher in Square Dance Hall Of Fame
ID: 80

Les Gotcher  

Les was one of the first to visualize the challenges of Square Dancing, he surprised the Square Dance world by combining the basics, a forerunner of much of the sight calling and position dancing of today. As an author of many texts on calling, Les became a model for countless young callers coming into the activity. His manual "Les Gotcher On Sight Calling" captures the fundamentals that every caller should know.
SIO's article: FEW CONTEMPORARY CALLERS have left their mark so indelibly engraved in the shaping of today's square dance picture than the latest caller to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Les Gotcher, who today lives in Zephyrhills, Florida, where he presently calls for three beginner classes, had his baptism in square dance calling in 1916 at the tender age of eleven, for which he received the princely sum of twenty-five cents. As one of the nation's most colorful callers, Les moved to Hollywood from South Central Texas and became associated with the motion picture industry, calling for a number of Hollywood films including "Night Train to Memphis" with Roy Acuff in 1939, followed closely by "Square Dance Jubilee," then two of the John Wayne classics, and "Copper Canyon," "House by the River," "East Side West Side," "The Duchess of Idaho," and others. In addition, Les conducted regular club dances at the famed Beverly Hills Hotel which attracted such movie greats as Andy Devine, Ronald Coleman, Lloyd Nolan and Caesar Romero. One of the first to visualize the possibilities of the many challenges of square dancing, Les "surprised" the square dance world by combining the basics or "hashing the breaks," a forerunner of much of the sight calling and position dancing of today. His innovations soon received nationwide attention and Les became one of the foremost traveling callers in North America. Few callers today have a record that can surpass Gotcher's miles-traveled-per-year in doing one-night stands, callers' clinics and workshops. As originator and editor of an internationally circulated magazine, "Squares 'n Rounds," and as author of many texts on calling, including "The American Square Dance," "Callers' and Teachers' Manual," "Hashin' the Breaks" and others, Les became a model for countless young callers coming into the activity. Among the first to record, Les' records on Capital and MacGregor labels are still models of excellence. His own Black Mountain label poured many dozens of patter call discs into the activity during the 1950s and 60s. Now retired and devoting his time to fishing and teaching, Les and his wife, Winnie, who recently celebrated their 53rd wedding anniversary, look back on many happy years devoted to square dancing. It is because of his tireless energies and his many contributions to this activity that we join with square dancers around the world in saluting Les Gotcher, an honored member of the Square Dance Hall of Fame.

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Recordings by Les Gotcher:
MacGregor    Square 'N Round    Black Mountain   
Acey-Ducey / Hesitate  (sample clip)  Singing Call (two vocals), Square 'N Round 515
Back Trackin' / Roll Back  Patter (two instrumentals), Square 'N Round 525
Bend The Ends / Star-Twirl Wind  Patter (two instrumentals), Square 'N Round 502
Cage The Bird / Heel And Toe Polka  Patter (two vocals), MacGregor 2-4
Cast The Big Ones (May Not Work) / Roll The Hoop  Patter (two instrumentals), Square 'N Round 544
Chain Reaction / Island Chain  Patter (two instrumentals), Square 'N Round 521
Clover Leaf / Running Deal  Patter (two vocals), Square 'N Round 523
Couple Up Acey / Swing & Twirl  Patter (two instrumentals), Square 'N Round 535
Crawdad Square / Cindy Lou  Singing Call (two vocals), Black Mountain 114
Criss-Cross Swing / Slide It Man  Patter (two instrumentals), Square 'N Round 557
Cross Run / Slip and Anything  Patter (two instrumentals), Square 'N Round 540
Cross-Trail "U" Turn In / If You Wanta'  (sample clip)  Patter (two instrumentals), Square 'N Round 542
Curlique / Star Twirl  Patter (two instrumentals), Square 'N Round 500
Dive For The Oyster / Rye Waltz  Patter (two vocals), MacGregor 2-1
Divide To A Line / Centers Out  Patter (two vocals), Square 'N Round 507
Dixie Daisy / Slide The Wave  Patter (two vocals), Square 'N Round 558
Dixie Spin / Wavin' Eight  (cue sheet)  Patter (two vocals), Square 'N Round 553
Dixie Turn Thru / This And That  Patter (two instrumentals), Square 'N Round 560
Double Arky Swivet / A Cross Trail Congo Style (Gross Trail)  Patter (two instrumentals), Square 'N Round 547
Double Trouble / Wheel & Merge  Patter (two instrumentals), Square 'N Round 546
Explode The Line / Tea-Cup Hash  Patter (two instrumentals), Square 'N Round 527
Fold Back / Curli-Sub  Patter (two instrumentals), Square 'N Round 505
Folding Backs / Duck Soup  Patter (two vocals), Square 'N Round 508
Hash 'N Breaks #2 / Rollaway Star  Patter (two vocals), Black Mountain 126
Hash 'N Breaks #3 / Do Paso What  Patter (two vocals), Black Mountain 128
Hash 'N Breaks #4 / Middle Of The Mound  Patter (two vocals), Black Mountain 131
Hash 'N Breaks #5 / Little Wonder  Patter (two vocals), Black Mountain 137
Hash 'N Breaks #6 / Tapiwingo Twister  Patter (two vocals), Black Mountain 152
Hash 'N Breaks #7 / Star Route  Patter (two vocals), Black Mountain 158
Hash 'N Breaks #8 / Hashin' Up The Cross-Trails  Patter (two vocals), Black Mountain 162
Hash 'N Breaks #9 / Allemande Pass-Thru  Patter (two instrumentals), Black Mountain 168
Hashin' The Breaks #10 / Little Red Hen  Patter (two vocals), Black Mountain 171
Hashin' The Breaks #11 / Wrappin' It Up  Patter (two vocals), Black Mountain 172
Hashin' Up The Teacup Gizmo  Patter, Black Mountain 159
Hot Time In The Old Town / Swing Ol' Adam, Swing Ol' Eve  Singing Call (vocal) + Patter, MacGregor 1-4
Hurricane / Chain The Line  Patter (two vocals), Black Mountain 130
Lady Round The Lady / Inside Arch, Outside Under  Patter (two vocals), MacGregor 1-2
Load The Boat / Gimmicks  Patter (two instrumentals), Square 'N Round 556
Make Love Around The Square  Singing Call, Black Mountain 149
No Help Wanted  Singing Call, Black Mountain 148
Outers Are In / Trade Thru  Patter (two instrumentals), Square 'N Round 551
Pair Thru / Wave The Star  Patter (two vocals), Square 'N Round 543
Partner Trade / Pass The Clover  Patter (two instrumentals), Square 'N Round 555
Reno Cross / Rollaway Hash  Patter (two vocals), Black Mountain 106
Roll Thru / Wrap Around  Patter (two vocals), Square 'N Round 509
Rotary Chain / Slide Thru Hash  Patter (two instrumentals), Square 'N Round 550
Rotary Tea-Cup Chain / Hashin' It Up  Patter (two instrumentals), Square 'N Round 559
Run Man Run / Running Iron  (sample clip)  Singing Call (two vocals), Square 'N Round 522
Sally Gooden / Swing In The Center, Swing On The Sides  Patter (two vocals), MacGregor 2-2
Shuffle And Wheel / Fold The Curls  Patter (two vocals), Square 'N Round 506
Shuffle Star / Twirl Back  Patter (two instrumentals), Square 'N Round 541
Slide And Swing / The High Priced Spread  Patter (two instrumentals), Square 'N Round 538
Slip And Wheel / Centers Thru-Close The Gate  Patter (two instrumentals), Square 'N Round 533
Spin The Wheel / Lines Star Thru  Patter (two vocals), Square 'N Round 511
Spin Thru / Swap & Trade  Patter (two instrumentals), Square 'N Round 548
Spread The Wheel / Outers In  Patter (two vocals), Square 'N Round 531
Stack The Wheel / All Four Couples Workshop  Patter (two vocals), Square 'N Round 501
Swap Around / Ocean Chain  Patter (two instrumentals), Square 'N Round 537
Swing & Trade #1 / Swing & Trade #2  Patter (two instrumentals), Square 'N Round 552
Swing Back Star Thru / Cracked Tea-Cup  Patter (two instrumentals), Square 'N Round 539
Swing Star Thru / Crazy Things  Patter (two instrumentals), Square 'N Round 528
Take A Peek / Right Hand Over, Left Hand Under  Patter (two vocals), MacGregor 1-3
Tea-Cup Hash / Arky Tea-Cup  (sample clip) (cue sheet)  Patter, Black Mountain 204
Texas Star / I'll Swing Yours And You'll Swing Mine  Patter (two vocals), MacGregor 1-1
That Old Gang Of Mine  (cue sheet) (lyrics)  Singing Call, Black Mountain 203
Trade Winds / Let's Make A Deal  (sample clip)  Patter (two vocals), Square 'N Round 545
Travel Thru / Loopy - Loopy - Loop  Patter (two instrumentals), Square 'N Round 532
Triple Centers In / High In The Clover  Patter (two vocals), Square 'N Round 524
Triple Wheel Make A Figure 8 / Split Tea-Cup Chain  Patter (two vocals), Square 'N Round 510
U Turn In / Lines Star-Twirl  Patter (two instrumentals), Square 'N Round 503
Varsouvienna / Schottische  Patter (two vocals), MacGregor 2-3
Wave The Star / Ole' Busters Once & Half  Patter (two instrumentals), Square 'N Round 549
Wheeling Thar / Hashin' The Breaks  Patter (two vocals), Black Mountain 101
Whirlpool Square / Tunnel Through  Patter (two vocals), Black Mountain 108
Who's On First / Form A "T"  Patter (two instrumentals), Square 'N Round 554
Yankee Twirl / Chain Thru  (comments) (cue sheet)  Patter (two instrumentals), Square 'N Round 504
Yo Yo / Split Your Sides  Patter (two vocals), Black Mountain 109