Jean Ritchie passes

Jean Ritchie - photo by Tom PichJean Ritchie, folk singer and dulcimer player, passed away on Monday June 1, 2015, at her home in Berea, Kentucky. She was 92 years old.

She is noted for bringing centuries-old Appalachian ballads to the attention of international audiences.

Ritchie, who grew up in Kentucky’s Cumberland mountains, accompanied herself on the guitar, autoharp or the mountain dulcimer, as she sang with a clear soprano voice.

As part of the folk music boom of the 1950s and 1960s, she was a contemporary of such stellar artists as Doc Watson, Pete Seeger and Odetta. Ritchie influenced a generation of younger singers such as Emmylou Harris and Judy Collins.

We are preparing a longer appreciation of Jean Ritchie’s life and career for publication at a later date.

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About the Author

Richard Thompson

Richard F. Thompson is a long-standing free-lance writer specialising in bluegrass music topics. A two-time Editor of British Bluegrass News, he has been seriously interested in bluegrass music since about 1970. As well as contributing to that magazine, he has, in the past 30 plus years, had articles published by Country Music World, International Country Music News, Country Music People, Bluegrass Unlimited, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass music journal) and Bluegrass Europe. He wrote the annotated series I'm On My Way Back To Old Kentucky, a daily memorial to Bill Monroe that culminated with an acknowledgement of what would have been his 100th birthday, on September 13, 2011.