Folkstreams | Gandy Dancers

Gandy Dancers (1994)

Musical traditions and recollections of eight retired African-American railroad track laborers whose occupational folk songs were once heard on railroads that crisscross the South. They recount experiences in the segregated South, describe organized labor and occupational safety standards, and demonstrate railroad calls that survive today as expressions of religious faith, social protest and sexually explicit poetry. A film by Barry Dornfeld and folklorist Maggie Holtzberg.


For licensing, film rights and permissions, contact Barry Dornfeld, Maggie Holtzberg-Call, the distributor Cinema Guild Inc., or Folkstreams.

Film Details

  • Film by: Barry Dornfeld, Maggie Holtzberg-Call
  • Produced by: Barry Dornfeld, Maggie Holtzberg-Call
  • Cinematographer: Richard Chisolm. Additional cinematography: Allen Moore.
  • Sound: Jim Hawkins, Jeff Klein
  • Editor: Barry Dornfeld. Asst. editor: John Tyson.
  • Other Credits: Assistant camera: Jason Dowdle. Folklorist: Maggie Holtzberg-Call. Archival research: Tom Potterfield. Narrated by Regina Taylor. Advisors: Tom Davenport, Archie Green. Laboratory: Du Art Film Labs. Sound mix: Rodel Sound. Stills animation: Visual Productions. Negative cutting: Richard Cohen.
  • Funding: Funding Provided by: The Southern Humanities Media Fund, The National Endowment for the Arts Folk Arts Program, The Georgia Humanities Council, The Alabama Council for the Arts. Support provided by Southern Labor Archives (Georgia State University), Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum, Georgia Council for the Arts.
  • Original Format: Film: 16mm
  • © 1994, Barry Dornfeld and Maggie Holtzberg-Call
  • 30mins, Color
  • Categories:
    MusicWorkAfrican American Culture