Entity | Jean Ritchie

Jean Ritchie
Jean Ruth Ritchie (December 8, 1922 – June 1, 2015) was an American folk singer, songwriter, and Appalachian dulcimer player, called by some the "Mother of Folk". In her youth she learned hundreds of folk songs in the traditional way (orally, from her family and community), many of which were Appalachian variants of centuries old British and Irish songs, including dozens of Child Ballads. In adulthood, she shared these songs with wide audiences, as well as writing some of her own songs using traditional foundations. She is ultimately responsible for the revival of the Appalachian dulcimer, the traditional instrument of her community, which she popularized by playing the instrument on her albums and writing tutorial books. She also spent time collecting folk music in the United States and in Britain and Ireland, in order to research the origins of her family songs and help preserve traditional music. She inspired a wide array of musicians, including Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Shirley Collins, Joni Mitchell, Emmylou Harris and Judy Collins. Jean Ritchie was born to Abigail (née Hall) Ritchie (1877-1972) and Balis Wilmar Ritchie (1869-1958) of Viper, an unincorporated community in Perry County in the Cumberland Mountains of southeastern Kentucky. The Ritchies of Perry County were one of the two "great ballad-singing families" of Kentucky celebrated among folk song scholars (the other was the Combs family of adjacent Knott County, whose repertoire formed the basis of the first scholarly work on the British ballads in America, a doctoral thesis by Professor Josiah Combs of Berea College for the Sorbonne University published in Paris in 1925).
Read more at Wikipedia...

Born: 1922, Viper
Died: 2015, Berea

Alternate Names: Ritchie, Jean, Jean Ruth Ritchie
Occupation(s): musicologist, musician, singer-songwriter, historian, singer, Musicians
Field(s) of Work: music composing
Associated Place(s): Appalachian Region, Kentucky, Appalachian Region, Southern, Australia, United States