Dan Peck posted this to the New River Old Time (NROT) list regarding Ray:
Old time music has lost one of its great champions: banjoist,
collector and documentarian Ray Alden, who succumbed to a battle
against cancer and died in his home in Croton, New York. He was 67
One of the first devotees of the music from Round Peak, Ray Alden
began making field trips to North Carolina in the early 1970s
recording the music of Tommy Jarrell, Fred Cockerham, Kyle Creed and
Ernest East. Ray's tireless devotion to their music provided him with hundreds of hours of exceptionally well recorded and meticulously documented field recordings of these musicians and many others in the region.
A tireless advocate for this music and culture, Ray abandoned a
successful and safe career as a teacher of mathematics at New York's
prestigious Stuyvesant High School to devote himself full time to the documentation, dissemination and performance of the music of Round Peak.
A powerful and dynamic banjoist himself, Ray Alden was a gifted
teacher and a member of numerous bands including "Ben Steele and His
Bare Hands" and the "Southern Schoolhouse Rascals." He was also a
talented designer of custom HiFi speaker systems who literally "wrote the book" on their construction inspiring legions of young audiophiles to build his innovative loudspeakers.
Ray Alden's commitment to the process of old time music saw him
inaugurate numerous record projects including "Visits" and the
successful "Young Fogies" and "American Fogies" series and in recent years his launching of the Field Recorder's Collective label, his bold vision to make hundreds of hours of rare and unique field recordings he and others have made over the years available to a wider audience in affordable and lovingly documented packaging.
Ray Alden was beloved and respected by those whose music he collected and celebrated as much as he was revered and idolized by the many whom he inspired by his generous great hearted example.