• Jean Ritchie Comes

    To Pineville

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    Jean Ritchie with music students

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    (Jean Ritchie singing a folk song at the Bell Theatre in Pineville)

    Jean Ritchie was born in 1922. She grew up in Viper, Kentucky as the youngest of 14 children. Some members of her family were great musicians. Jean's father encouraged music making in all his children and the whole family sang and played together. Jean learned to play the dulcimer when she was 5. During Jean's childhood she learned different folk songs such as work songs, play songs/game songs, hymns, and instrumentals. She also learned dances such as square dancing, jigs and reels. Jean went to college at the University of Kentucky and then got a job in New York where she performed her folk songs for many city folk. She continued this for 50 years. One of her songs include "The West Virginia Mine Disaster."

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    Jean Ritchie plays the dulcimer... she is 84 years old

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    dulcimer duet

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    Jean Ritchie signing autographs

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    "Singing Family of the Cumberlands", Jean Ritchie's book, autographed