Sign up for newsletter
 

Appalachian singer Jean Ritchie dies at 92

Tuesday, June 2, 2015 – Jean Richie, American folk and Appalachian singer, who brought the dulcimer to the forefront, died Monday at 92 in Berea, Ky.

Ritchie was considered a key player in folk music along with spearheading the revival of the dulcimer. She also brought Appalachian folk songs to the masses throughout her singing career.

Richie was born in Viper, Ky. on Dec. 8, 1911. Ritchie came from a musical family. As a youth, she memorized songs, performing at local dances and fairs.

After graduating college, she was a social worker in New York City, where she befriend musicologist Alan Lomax, who recorded her for the Library of Congress. She joined the folk scene, befriending Lead Belly and Pete Seeger. She signed with Elektra Records and released three albums between 1952 and 1962. Her recording career continued until 2002.

Ritchie often sang a capella, but eventually played mountain dulcimer. Ritchie and her family eventually manufactured dulcimers. She played venues including Carnegie Hall in New York and Royal Albert Hall in London and performed with Doc Watson and Seeger. She performed a number of times at the Newport Folk Festival, starting with the first one in 1959.

Richie also was a songwriter with "My Dear Companion" appearing on "Trio" by Linda Ronstadt, Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris.

Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Kristofferson gives insight, but no easy answers – When they say music gets better with age, they're not always just talking about songs alone; sometimes they're also referring to the listener. When Kris Kristofferson sings, "Well, I woke up Sunday morning/With no way to hold my head that didn't hurt," to smartly open "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down," he... »»»
Concert Review: No sugarcoating, Welch dishes out an experience – Gillian Welch (accompanied, as always, by master guitarist David Rawlings), celebrated her "The Harrow & The Harvest" album with a powerful night of music. She apologized many times for the utter unhappiness expressed through this album's songs, admitting it's "not the most chipper album" at one point.... »»»
Subscribe to Country News Digest Country News Digest      Follow Country Standard Time on twitter CST      Visit Country Standard Time on Facebook CST

Elsewhere in the news

Currently at the CST blogs

Hillman bides his time Legends don't come any more legendary than Chris Hillman. The roll call of bands that comprises Hillman's half century in music reads like a wing exhibit at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame; Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers, Manassas, the Souther Hillman Furay Band, the Desert Rose Band,... »»»
The Cadillac Three creates its "Legacy" William Shakespeare noted a few centuries back that a rose by any other name would be equally aromatic, and that general idea has musical implications as well. The Cadillac Three knows a thing or two about maintaining a sonic identity after a name change;... »»»