Watch the Victory Rag online guitar lesson by Tim Sparks from Roots, Rags & Blues
I first heard Victory Rag played by Mother Maybelle Carter on the Flatt and Scruggs' Martha White Biscuit show in the late 1960's. I always thought she had written it, but a few years ago a friend pointed out that it was in fact the last published rag by the great ragtime composer James Scott, published in 1917. I subsequently found that Scott's Rag is a different tune. After some more research, I found that in 1963 Maybelle Carter told the New Lost City Ramblers she learned it from a guitar player at an Old Dominion Barn Dance in Richmond, Virginia in the early 1950's. The song was also recorded by Mike Seeger of the New Lost City Ramblers and Sam Mcgee. A performance of Sam Mcgee can be seen on Stephen Grossman's "Legends of Traditional Fingerstyle Guitar," Vestapol Videos
. You can also view clips of Sam and Kirk McGee and Maybelle Carter fingerpicking guitar renditions of "Railroad Blues" and "Wildwood Flower" on YouTube
. The provenance of this tune remains a bit of a mystery to me.
In reviewing this lesson video, I noticed there is a measure written in the tab which is missing from the breakdown explanation. It is the 8th measure, a G chord with a D to E hammer-on figure on the 4th string. You can go back to the full performance version and find it or it is recapitulated later in the lesson.