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HAROLD & LILL BAUSCH

 

Nebraska Square & Round Dance Caller Association
Hall Of Fame Members


HAROLD & LILL BAUSCH



HAROLD & LILL BAUSCH

A Brief History Of A Long Square Dance Career

   Harold met Lill in 1942, they were engaged in 1943, married in 1944, and moved to Leigh, Nebraska, Harold’s home town. Leigh was their home until they moved to Fremont, Nebraska in 1972.

   They attended their first square dance in August of 1952, at the Oak Ballroom in Schuyler. Lill remembered they had to be pulled through the calls, because there were no square dance classes at that time. She said it was the helpfulness and friendliness of the square dancers that convinced them to continue dancing.

   Harold started calling square dances in 1953. He & Lill were the first presidents of the club in Leigh, and members of the club encouraged Harold to start calling. He was also asked to call for a club in Humphrey.

   According to Harold, square dance records were not common when he first started, and he had live accompaniment for the first few months. Then, he bought an amplifier and speakers, added a record album of square dance calls, and gradually built a library of 78 rpm records. Those thick and heavy 78’s gave way to the 45 rpm records that came on the scene in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s.

   Harold became a recording artist early in his career. His first recording made in 1957, was “I Dream Of You” on Dash records, and featured the music of “Schroeder’s Playboys”. Through the years, Harold recorded 42 square dance records, mostly on his own “Keeno!” label. Many of the recordings were made in Omaha at “Sound Recorders” studios, and featured musicians from Nebraska. Some of the songs he recorded include… “Don’t Sit Under The Apple Tree”, “That Lady Loves To Dance”, “Later Than You Think”, “Johnny Will”, “Wooden Heart”, “The Old Lamplighter”, “Round Robin”, “Those Were The Days”, and “Rolling On” (Freight Train). The term “Caller” is a bit of a misnomer when applied to Harold. He really was an excellent “Singer” of square dances.

   Harold & Lill considered themselves partners in the square dance business. Lill attended nearly all of Harold’s dances, and helped him teach square & round dancing to thousands of people during more than 44 years in the business. Lill excelled at round dancing, and eventually selected and cued the rounds.

   Harold & Lill started and served 10 square dance clubs in Nebraska that included the towns of Columbus, Norfolk, Omaha, Fremont, Albion, Surprise, and Leigh. Some of their clubs continue dancing to this day. Harold’s Squares of Columbus, Nebraska has enjoyed the greatest longevity. Harold and Lill called and cued for them for 43 years! Harold often called 25 nights a month. In addition, Harold & Lill did “Calling Tours” that took them to 48 states, Canada, & Germany. They were well known in square dancing throughout America.

   Harold’s teaching went beyond dancers. He was a pioneer in establishing and conducting one of the first “Callers Colleges” which he held annually for approximately 30 years. The callers who attended were encouraged and trained in a relaxing atmosphere of camaraderie. Their calling was also featured in front of a large group of square dancers at Harold & Lill’s “Dance-O-Rama”. Jerry Junck attended one of the very first colleges held in Norfolk, Nebraska. In later years, the school was held at Camp Comeca between Lincoln and Omaha. Harold also participated as a staff member of caller’s schools around the country. He did a number of schools in Illinois, Indiana, and also worked schools with Stan Burdick from Ohio.

   Harold and Lill had the idea for the first Night Owl Dance as a result of a brainstorming session one evening at a dancer’s home. The first Night Owl Dance was held on august 31, 1958 from 9:00 P.M. until 5:00 A.M. in Columbus, Nebraska. Lill designed the Night Owl badge, and in 1962, the Grasshopper badge. Beginning in 1975, the Night Owl badge could be earned by dancing until 3:00 A.M.

   Nebraska celebrated it’s Centennial in 1967. As a part of the celebration, Harold was asked to call with the Omaha Symphony Orchestra as part of the summer entertainment program. Dancers from around the state were invited to make up the squares, and Harold shared the program with country music entertainer Rex Allen.

   Harold and Lill contributed so much to square dancing, not only in Nebraska, but around the country. They wrote numerous articles and columns for some of the State and National Magazines around the country, and published their own newsletter, “The Reporter,” from about 1962 until 1998. Many dancers used this newsletter as their source for all the dances in the area each month.

   Harold and Lill called and cued dances several times in Hawaii, across the United States, and Germany.  This includes calling a square dance on the deck of the Forestall Aircraft Carrier. Also, Harold and Lill were tour guides for trips to Hawaii and a trip to Germany; most all of the people who traveled with them were square dancers that they knew. Harold also was a past president of the National Callers Association.  Harold and Lill stayed active in calling and cuing until they passed away at the age of 74.  They loved square dancing, but they especially loved the wonderful friends they made and kept for so many years!  

   Many numbers were used throughout this summary, but it’s impossible to measure Harold & Lill’s impact on square dancing, and the enjoyment they helped provide to people all over the United States. They contributed tirelessly with their time and energy to this great activity we call square dancing.


Hall Of Fame Members



Harold & Lil Bausch - inducted 2007 Bill & Phyllis Speidel - inducted 2007
Ernie & Naomi Gross - inducted 2008 Les & Doris Henkel - inducted 2008
Wes & Dorothy Mohling - inducted 2009 Ed & Shirley Claflin - inducted 2009
Jerry & Glenda Wright - inducted 2010 Ed & Phyllis Spurgeon - inducted 2010
Mal & Shirley Minshall - inducted 2010 Orvile & Arra Pittam - inducted 2011
John & Bev Chunka - inducted 2012 Jim & Carol Tucker - inducted 2015