Ruthie Byers

Who gets booked in the Bay Area, Callers Edition

Here are the top nine most-booked callers (tenth was a four way tie, so I’m omitting it here).

  • Erik Hoffman (32)
  • Lynn Ackerson (27)
  • Kelsey Hartman (27)
  • Susan Petrick (22)
  • Warren Blier (19)
  • Yoyo Zhou (18)
  • Kalia Kliban (17)
  • Eric Black (15)
  • Susan Pleck (11)

Most of my observations about this data involve comparing bands and callers:

  • There are a lot fewer unique callers than unique bands or unique musicians (35 callers compared with 130 local musicians in 109 local bands)

  • More callers than bands had large numbers of gigs– 4 bands had more than 10 gigs, while 14 callers did (but 34 individual musicians had more than 10 gigs, and I’m not sure what the better comparison is).

  • How much turnover is there among callers? This is hard to get a good sense of from only two years, but the short answer seems to be “not much.” As far as I can tell, no local caller was booked for the first time in the second year of my analysis (of the two local people booked in the second year but not the first, Dean Alemang was billed somewhere as having recently moved from another part of the country, and Karen Fontana is a longer time caller who just didn’t happen to call between October 2013 and October 2014). In contrast, more than zero new musicians made their contra dance debuts in the bay area in the second year of my analysis.

  • 278 of the 388 events I analyzed (or about 71%) had local callers (local includes all parts of the bay area and Monterey, but not as far as San Lois Obispo). Bands at 274 of the 388 events had at least one local member, but only 243 had entirely local bands (most of the partly but not entirely local bands were Rodney Miller and one or more local musicians).

  • Calling seems to be a pretty gender-balanced activity, unlike music, which is male-skewed, and frankly, unlike most activities.


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