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: Stapleton shows his traditional roots – Chris Stapleton's All-American Road show feels like a singular mission to rid the genre of the bro country scourge that has plagued it for years. He came out with a blazing one-two punch of "Second One To Know" and "Without Your Love" and packed a stadium sized onslaught into a 9,000-seat arena. He never once veered from his... »»»
Concert Review: Jinks wins over fans, especially new ones – Cody Jinks asked the crowd a bit into his show how many had never seen him before. It seemed like Jinks has made a lot of musical inroads into the public's consciousness because roughly three quarters of the audience raised their hands to show that this was their first time. That probably made Jinks feel pretty darn good about how life has been... »»»
Follow Country Standard Time  Subscribe to Country News Digest  Follow Country Standard Time on twitter  Visit Country Standard Time on Facebook 

Elsewhere in the news

Currently at the CST blogs

Willis, Robison spin "Beautiful Lie" Eleven years ago, Kelly stepped away from music. She had just finished touring on 2007's exquisite "Translated From Love" and felt the angst of being a travelling musician with family at home. At that point, Willis and her husband, musician/producer Bruce Robison,... »»»
Chip Kinman celebrates brother, career on "Sounds Like Music" For a brief moment last summer, the news of Tony Kinman's death was, if not greatly exaggerated, then at least fortuitously premature. The roots rock icon, known for his work in The Dils, Rank and File, Blackbird and Cowboy Nation with his younger brother Chip, had been diagnosed with cancer in March 2018,... »»»