Here's an article that orginally appeared in the December 2010 issue of the San Diego Callers' Association's publication, ChoreoNotes.
Live Music (by guest caller Pat Carnathan)
As professional callers most of us call a majority of our dances to prerecorded music. We travel; we’re calling in a variety of places, so lugging around four guys and their instruments just isn’t feasible. Few things can match the excitement of calling with a group of talented musicians providing your music live on stage with you. It’s an experience that stays with you long after you’ve left the stage. To make it a positive event, though, many things have to come together perfectly. In harmony, if you will!
Shake It Up With Shakedown!
In the not so olden days, before cheap electronic amplifiers, and 45 rpm records, the band was the heart of the square dance. You might see old Dr. Humphrey Bate and his Possum Hunters a pickin’ and a grinnin’. At a typically large gathering, there might have been 3 or 4 callers. Each would call to one or more squares, either shouting out the calls or using megaphones so he could be heard. At the end of each dance, the dancers would tip their individual caller. Hence the origin of the term. The folks would rest awhile, dance a waltz, two-step, or perhaps a schottische. Then the callers would move on to new forming squares, and the next tip would begin.