Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


KYTrad (Jean Ritchie) update on illness (Feb 2010)

Related threads:
Jean Ritchie - her early recordings (11)
Obit: Jean Ritchie (1922-2015) (79)
Who is like Jean Ritchie? (35)
Kytrad & Doc at Common Ground Fest (17)
Dear Jean - CD tribute to Jean Ritchie (31)
Edna Ritchie - recordings (6)
Jean Ritchie Turns 90 (60)
The Wanderin' Five - seek info (6)
King Coal Dumping on Jean Ritchie and ALL OF US! (70)
Happy Birthday kytrad-Jean Ritchie Dec 8 (66) (closed)
Jean Ritchie update Sept 2011 (47)
Happy 89th Birthday to kytrad (36)
AFC Acquires Pickow/Ritchie Collection (7)
KYTrad is comin' home! (update 8 June 2010) (103) (closed)
Ritchie/Pickow Family News (Feb 2011) (52) (closed)
Singing with Kytrad-Jean Ritchie in nursing home (29) (closed)
Is kytrad okay? Jean Ritchie UPDATE 30 Jan.2010 (310) (closed)
Ritchie-Pickow Archive (13)
Jean Ritchie article (17)
Jean Ritchie's Website down? (27)
Review: Jean Ritchie--Singin' the Moon Up (12)
More Kytrad on youtube (34)
The Singing Ritchie Family (8)
Video: Too Many Shadows (Jean Ritchie/kytrad) (49)
Happy! ? Dec 8 (EXTRA SPECIAL RITCHIE) (3)
jeanritchie.com Christmas update (19)
Mountain Dulcimer - Jean Ritchie Book (24)
December 8 - Happy Birthday Jean Ritchie (43)
Kytrad/Son Brilliant Concert on the Mall (7)
BS: Websites come & go- Kytrad (22)
Jean Ritchie website update (19)
Happy Birthday Kytrad (30)
KYTRAD's a winner! (39)
Kytrad's award concert (28)
kytrad & others in DC free concert 9/20 (2)
Remarkable line-up -- kytrad near Indianapolis (11)
Ky. MusicHallofFameInduction-HeyKYTRAD! (23)
Jean Ritchie - KY Music Hall of Fame (33)
Jean Ritchie Book in the Auction (10)
OBIT: Kytrad Still Here? (48)
Jean Ritchie Field Trip (31)
Welcome to the 'Cat---Jean Ritchie (72)
Jean Ritchie Concert (7)


GUEST,Jon Pickow 04 Feb 10 - 01:20 AM
Joe Offer 04 Feb 10 - 02:08 AM
Genie 04 Feb 10 - 02:27 AM
My guru always said 04 Feb 10 - 02:57 AM
Sandra in Sydney 04 Feb 10 - 03:38 AM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 04 Feb 10 - 05:27 AM
catspaw49 04 Feb 10 - 05:45 AM
open mike 04 Feb 10 - 06:34 AM
gnu 04 Feb 10 - 06:48 AM
kendall 04 Feb 10 - 06:58 AM
artbrooks 04 Feb 10 - 07:27 AM
Waddon Pete 04 Feb 10 - 07:49 AM
Charley Noble 04 Feb 10 - 07:53 AM
maeve 04 Feb 10 - 07:55 AM
GUEST,Philippa 04 Feb 10 - 08:47 AM
wysiwyg 04 Feb 10 - 08:57 AM
SINSULL 04 Feb 10 - 09:02 AM
Rapparee 04 Feb 10 - 09:07 AM
Nancy King 04 Feb 10 - 11:02 AM
Alice 04 Feb 10 - 11:26 AM
Dan Schatz 04 Feb 10 - 02:44 PM
katlaughing 04 Feb 10 - 03:05 PM
Phil Cooper 04 Feb 10 - 06:33 PM
Guy Wolff 04 Feb 10 - 07:34 PM
Art Thieme 04 Feb 10 - 07:42 PM
Suffet 04 Feb 10 - 09:34 PM
GUEST,Rosalie & Alan Friend 04 Feb 10 - 10:19 PM
GUEST,Arkie 04 Feb 10 - 11:28 PM
GUEST,Lisa Null 04 Feb 10 - 11:44 PM
GUEST,Anne Price 05 Feb 10 - 07:56 AM
Fortunato 05 Feb 10 - 01:25 PM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 05 Feb 10 - 02:16 PM
VirginiaTam 05 Feb 10 - 02:23 PM
GUEST,Joy & Bert Held 05 Feb 10 - 02:51 PM
mkebenn 05 Feb 10 - 03:08 PM
Desert Dancer 12 Feb 10 - 11:31 AM
katlaughing 12 Feb 10 - 11:37 AM
YorkshireYankee 12 Feb 10 - 12:36 PM
Lonesome EJ 12 Feb 10 - 12:41 PM
Acme 12 Feb 10 - 04:21 PM
Severn 12 Feb 10 - 04:41 PM
GUEST,Conrad Shiba 13 Feb 10 - 11:31 AM
wysiwyg 13 Feb 10 - 01:03 PM
frogprince 13 Feb 10 - 01:23 PM
GUEST,Susan Brumfield 13 Feb 10 - 11:01 PM
Donald Bauer (DPB) 14 Feb 10 - 12:14 AM
Donald Bauer (DPB) 14 Feb 10 - 12:24 AM
katlaughing 14 Feb 10 - 12:46 AM
wysiwyg 14 Feb 10 - 08:36 AM
wysiwyg 15 Feb 10 - 10:23 AM
GUEST,David 18 Feb 10 - 05:02 PM
maeve 21 Feb 10 - 06:54 PM
iancarterb 21 Feb 10 - 11:08 PM
maeve 22 Feb 10 - 08:25 PM
gnu 22 Feb 10 - 08:54 PM
GUEST,Lisa Johnson (Strumelia) 23 Feb 10 - 08:32 PM
regiberry 25 Feb 10 - 09:45 PM
EBarnacle 25 Feb 10 - 10:05 PM
Janie 25 Feb 10 - 10:48 PM
maeve 26 Feb 10 - 06:27 AM
GUEST,Paco 05 Mar 10 - 03:16 PM
Marco 08 Mar 10 - 07:46 AM
GUEST,Philppa 11 Mar 10 - 08:16 AM
katlaughing 17 Mar 10 - 10:16 PM
kendall 18 Mar 10 - 04:31 AM
Max 22 Mar 10 - 07:10 PM
wysiwyg 24 Mar 10 - 01:30 PM
GUEST,Nell Shively 26 Mar 10 - 01:51 AM
Janie 26 Mar 10 - 02:00 AM
GUEST 28 Mar 10 - 11:34 PM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 21 Apr 10 - 09:56 AM
Janie 05 Jun 10 - 01:50 PM
Art Thieme 05 Jun 10 - 03:58 PM
gnu 06 Jun 10 - 03:03 PM
Joe Offer 06 Jun 10 - 04:55 PM
maeve 21 Jun 10 - 07:18 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:



Subject: KYTrad update
From: GUEST,Jon Pickow
Date: 04 Feb 10 - 01:20 AM

Hi everyone,

Mom is making slow but steady progress. She is beginning to be able to communicate more, and is being weaned from the ventilator. She has enjoyed the cards, flowers and good wishes from everyone. That has been very uplifting for her. We printed out excerpts from the previous thread about her, and brought them to the rehab.

I have been bringing her dulcimer and singing and playing with her. She mouths the words along with most things. Only two weeks ago, she didn't seem to know certain songs which she should have, but it seems that she remembers them now. She especially likes to "sing" Twilight 'A Stealing.

I sing anything that pops in to my head. I skipped a verse to The Shoemaker's Song the other day, and she started slapping the arm of her chair. It's great to see her laugh. We sing hymns too. She was able to strum the dulcimer a little the other day.

We don't know if she will recover fully, but we are pleased with her progress. Thank you all for your caring and concern.

All the best, Jon
    Jean's son Jon Pickow started this new thread, so I'm going to close the old thread. Please post to this new thread.
    Thanks.
    -Joe Offer, 3 Feb 2010-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad update
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Feb 10 - 02:08 AM

Thanks a lot, John. Jean has come to mean a lot to many of us.

-Joe Offer-
(Jean calls me her "tech guru")


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad update
From: Genie
Date: 04 Feb 10 - 02:27 AM

Jon, this is welcome news. Small steps, yes, but progress. We will keep hope alive as we keep your mom and you in our prayers, positive visualizations, and good wishes.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad update
From: My guru always said
Date: 04 Feb 10 - 02:57 AM

So very glad to read this, thanks for letting us know this heartwarming news. Still sending positive thoughts to Jean from this side of the pond. Keep up the good work!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad update
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 04 Feb 10 - 03:38 AM

& I'm sending good wishes from across the other pond!

sandra


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad update
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 04 Feb 10 - 05:27 AM

Very pleased to hear that Jean is making some progress, and that she is making sure you sing those songs properly Jon!! All best wishes from the UK and from the English Folk dance & Song Society, for whome she sang many times while on her Fulbright.
Derek Schofield
Editor: English Dance & Song magazine


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad update
From: catspaw49
Date: 04 Feb 10 - 05:45 AM

I join the many around here who are happy and thankful for this progress. Thanks Jon and tell her we are all still sending her our best for continued progress.

And 'Catters.....Do something Jean would like I'm sure. Join others and Boycott Those Who Support Mountaintop Removal.

Keep up the great progress Jean!!!

Spaw


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad update
From: open mike
Date: 04 Feb 10 - 06:34 AM

i am glad to hear that she is smiling...and laughing...
soon i hope she can play and sing too...
it is wonderful that you are keeping the music alive..

that must lift her spirits, and ours too!

glad you are keeping us in the loop here on mudcat...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad update
From: gnu
Date: 04 Feb 10 - 06:48 AM

Uplifting! Thanks Jon.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad update
From: kendall
Date: 04 Feb 10 - 06:58 AM

When I saw the title of this thread I though, "Oh no, not our Jean". Wonderful news indeed!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad update
From: artbrooks
Date: 04 Feb 10 - 07:27 AM

Very good to see this update.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad update
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 04 Feb 10 - 07:49 AM

Thanks Jon, we are keeping her in our thoughts over here in East Anglia too.

Best wishes,

Peter


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad update
From: Charley Noble
Date: 04 Feb 10 - 07:53 AM

Jon-

Thanks for taking the time to provide the update.

Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad update
From: maeve
Date: 04 Feb 10 - 07:55 AM

Thank you very much, Jon. Blessings on you all for taking such good care of one another.

maeve in Maine


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad update
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 04 Feb 10 - 08:47 AM

I've been checking the Mudcat site most days for news; my thoughts are with Jean and her family. This is very welcome news, good progress. Thanks, Jon, for filling us in.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad update
From: wysiwyg
Date: 04 Feb 10 - 08:57 AM

Jon, I am so happy for you that you have gotten to see this progress and to have this blessed time of closeness with her. I am not at all surprised that she is doing so well, and I am sure that she can continue to do well.

A special new member of our band is mentally challenged. Part of our challenge in teaching him to play (autoharp) is that he has gifts in the music department that far exceed most folks' assumptions about what he can do and how he can do it; we just have to put the right tools at his disposal-- this week's lesson is about tuning his own 36 strings-- and he takes off from there. Jean's recovering abilities will be a HUGE role model not only for him, but for the folks surrounding him who are not musicians.... and I am going to ask James also to be an especial prayer-partner for Jean's continued recovery.

:~) This means that Jean's progress may soon take quite an upswing. James is POW'FUL in many ways, and it will not surprise me if his prayer life is pretty effective, too! :~)

So please let Jean know that he's on the case. Please also let her know that some of us have been singing "with" and "for" her (there's a separate thread about it).

Has she "told" you yet to look after yourselves? :~) In last Saturday night's service, we sang "Deep Settled Peace." May you all have that, and more.

~Susan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad update
From: SINSULL
Date: 04 Feb 10 - 09:02 AM

Wonderful news,Jon. One day at a time.
Mary


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad update
From: Rapparee
Date: 04 Feb 10 - 09:07 AM

This is, indeed, good news! Keep us updated, please.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad update
From: Nancy King
Date: 04 Feb 10 - 11:02 AM

Jon, thanks so much for keeping us updated. I'm very glad to hear that Jean is doing better. Progress is progress, however slow. Your Mom is very dear to so many of us -- even those who have never met her! It's a long road, but we're pulling for her!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad update
From: Alice
Date: 04 Feb 10 - 11:26 AM

Thank you for the update, Jon. Please give Jean my love.

Alice in Montana


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad update
From: Dan Schatz
Date: 04 Feb 10 - 02:44 PM

This warms my heart completely today. Jean, you have always been a hero - in the last few years I have gotten to know you just a little bit, and I have come to realize that you are so much more than a wonderful musician, folklorist, writer and storyteller. You are a warm, compassionate, funny, and wise person. No stroke will ever take that away.

Dan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad update
From: katlaughing
Date: 04 Feb 10 - 03:05 PM

What a beautiful way to say it, Dan. That's exactly right.

Thank you, Jon, so much, for letting us know of her progress. It is wonderful you are able to be there, sharing the music and all. Family support goes a long ways in helping with recovery.

Please tell Jean, "thanks for being here" and keep up the good work. I continue to give thanks for her complete healing.

Love you, Jean,

kat


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad update
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 04 Feb 10 - 06:33 PM

Pass on my best wishes, Jon. Jean has always been very nice to us over the years, when she didn't have to be. A highlight memory is when Margaret Nelson and I were part of a women in traditional music workshop at Kentucky Music Weekend. We, and the other performers, had just started and someone came up and asked if your mom could participate as well. What a treat!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad update
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 04 Feb 10 - 07:34 PM

Glad to hear the wonderful update .. Tell her to keep up the great work . She is loved .. All the best , Guy


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad update
From: Art Thieme
Date: 04 Feb 10 - 07:42 PM

Jon, Thanks!

Be sure to tell your mom that I was able to put one of my favorite LP albums of hers onto a CD recently. That album is her Carols Of All Seasons. What a gem of lovely purity and taste that one is!

And I will always laugh when I recall you and George telling me about the time Mr. Pickow got the credit for actually stopping Big Ben!

Recover quickly!!

Love,
from Art and Carol Thieme


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad update
From: Suffet
Date: 04 Feb 10 - 09:34 PM

Jon,

Thanks for posting this update. I will forward it to the NY Pinewoods people.

Kindest regards and take care.

---Steve Suffet


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad update
From: GUEST,Rosalie & Alan Friend
Date: 04 Feb 10 - 10:19 PM

Jon,
Thanks for sharing this good news. It is heartening to learn that your mother is responding to your caring attention. We are thankful for the warmth and generosity of your entire family. We are thinking of you all and hoping that your mother continues to recover.
Rosalie and Alan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad update
From: GUEST,Arkie
Date: 04 Feb 10 - 11:28 PM

Glad to get this good news of Jean's progress. She has long been a tremendous inspiration because of her music and is now an inspiration for the manner in which faces a serious and difficult illness.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad update
From: GUEST,Lisa Null
Date: 04 Feb 10 - 11:44 PM

Hi Jon:

This is uploifting news indeed! Jean has meant so much to me over the years-- it delights me that she is making good progress. I wish I were there to sing with her too!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad update
From: GUEST,Anne Price
Date: 05 Feb 10 - 07:56 AM

Wonderful news. Music has healing power.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad update
From: Fortunato
Date: 05 Feb 10 - 01:25 PM

Jon,

Great thanks for the update. It's good to hear of your mother singing with you. I picture that in my mind.

It's hard to imagine anything more poignant that the music you bring her with each visit, and these times are infinitely precious.

I'm honored to have read of them here.

with great respect

Chance Shiver


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad update
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 05 Feb 10 - 02:16 PM

Jon,

Amba and I are so glad to hear of your mother's progress. We send her and you our heartfelt love and wishes for strength and good cheer along every step of the way.

Bob


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad update
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 05 Feb 10 - 02:23 PM

I am relatively new to mudcat, but have run into snippets of Jean's humour and knowledge in my random trawling through threads for information.

For these I am grateful to have learned a tiny bit about the personality of this talented woman.

Leaving here my thanks and wishes for the best possible recovery.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad update
From: GUEST,Joy & Bert Held
Date: 05 Feb 10 - 02:51 PM

So glad to hear that Jean is improving and able to make music again. Jean, you are one of the lights in our life; we wish you continuing improvement . You are in our thoughts and we send you best wishes and love.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad update
From: mkebenn
Date: 05 Feb 10 - 03:08 PM

The best of news...Mike


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad update
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 11:31 AM

Ross Altman has written a nice tribute to Jean in the L.A. area "Folkworks" online magazine, here.

~ Becky in Tucson (and often in L.A.)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad update
From: katlaughing
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 11:37 AM

Thanks, Becky, that is really neat!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad update
From: YorkshireYankee
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 12:36 PM

Just came across this thread...
I'm just one of many, many, many people Jean doesn't know, who has been touched by her music -- as well as by the warmth and wisdom of her posts on Mudcat.
May she continue to recover and go on to thrive. As for the family, it's clear from your (and her past) posts that you all already have the most important "riches" that could be wished for, so I hope a simple, heartfelt wish of good and/or improving health to all of you will suffice.

Vikki Fielden


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad update
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 12:41 PM

Great news, Jon!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad update
From: Acme
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 04:21 PM

This is the text of the article at Becky's link. We like to keep the full text when there is a possibility that the thread will stick around longer than the online article:



Jean Ritchie:
DAMSEL WITH A DULCIMER

By Ross Altman link

Her Kentucky mountain ballad voice stilled by a major stroke last December 4, Jean Ritchie is no longer able to communicate. But her inestimable recorded legacy of traditional and original songs will continue to sing and speak for her for as long as time will allow.

When the soundtrack album for the film O Brother, Where Art Thou? became a hit the movie's music producer T. Bone Burnett seized the moment to record a follow-up studio album with the same musicians. It was entitled, Down From the Mountain and became a hit as well. But despite Ralph Stanley's welcome presence I kept looking at its roster of contemporary musical talent, and despite their earnest efforts to sound traditional, I kept asking myself the same question: Where is Jean Ritchie?

She didn't have to make an effort to sound traditional; she was to the cabin born, in 1922, in Viper, Kentucky, and had just turned 87 when she suffered the stroke. She was hospitalized in St. Francis Hospital near her home in Port Washington, New York, where she had moved in 1946 to pursue a living in music.

Not to put too fine a point on it, Jean Ritchie was first down the mountain. The youngest of 14 children, she became the standard bearer of her entire family's amazing repertoire of Appalachian Ballads, many inherited from England in just the way that Cecil Sharp described, an ideal living embodiment of a folklorist's dream-songs passed on through oral tradition and aural memory.

She learned to play the mountain dulcimer by imitating her father, who forbade her and everyone else in the family from playing it. She was allowed to sing, however, and by the age of five was already able to sing songs she had picked up from her mother. It was at that tender age that her rebellious streak first manifested itself; she disobeyed her father's orders and started accompanying herself on the lap dulcimer, first singing Go Tell Aunt Rhody.

When she moved to New York she met her future husband photographer George Pickow and he recognized the full significance of what she was doing, the only folk singer in New York's then burgeoning folk renaissance to play the dulcimer. They set up shop beneath a bridge and started their own workshop, handcrafting dulcimers for the growing numbers of her fans who wished to learn to play for themselves. They sold over 300 dulcimers in their first year of operation, and a dulcimer revival was born.

In 1952 she recorded her first album for Elektra Records, quickly followed by two others, which laid the groundwork for her rock solid folk music heritage. To take but one example of what makes her traditional song-bag both definitive and revelatory, consider the classic lyric ballad, Black Is the Color.

You may have heard the popular version of the song, as performed by Joan Baez on her second album in 1963. It is credited to John Jacob Niles, the great ballad singer and dulcimer player who like Jean Ritchie came from Kentucky. It starts with the haunting and distinctive repetition that ascends up the scale, Black, black, black is the color of my true love's hair. Did John Jacob Niles write this song, as Joan Baez songbook indicates?

Well, yes and no.

If you spend some time researching this you will discover the original sheet music for his version, published by Schirmer's Music around 1912-1915. Niles name is on it, all right, but he is credited as the arranger, for a piano accompaniment and melody, not the author of the song.

Then if you go to Niles' web site you will discover his own notes to the song, as well as his own recordings of it. He didn't like the traditional melody, he said, perhaps influenced by his own father, from whom he learned it. It needed something, more grandeur, to fit Niles quite dramatic way of singing and presenting these songs. His original melody provides exactly that, and Joan Baez's version is evidence enough that a great soprano could do justice to the way he had re-imagined the song.

But what about the traditional version, the one that you will find in Alan Lomax's, Folk Songs of the United States. To hear that version you will need to go back to the source, and that would be Jean Ritchie's recording, Songs of the Kentucky Mountains. While Jean Ritchie's version lacks the grandeur of John Jacob Niles and Joan Baez, it more than makes up for it in her simple honesty of telling the story.

That simple honesty is the hallmark of Jean Ritchie's singing and performing style, through more than fifty years of recording and live concerts. One of the most charming stories I have heard from her demonstrates this core quality to perfection. Twenty-five years ago Elaine and Clark Weissman's California Traditional Music Society presented Jean Ritchie with a lifetime achievement award, presented at what was then called simply The Summer Solstice Dulcimer Festival. It was their first lifetime achievement award, and they wanted to acknowledge Jean's pioneering role in creating an audience for this instrument across the country, even to the point of naming their festival after it.

During her concert performance at the festival Jean Ritchie told the story of the time she asked guitar virtuoso Doc Watson to accompany her at the Newport Folk Festival, hoping to impress the audience with some fancy picking that went beyond what she could do by herself. Doc took on the assignment all right, but then proceeded to vastly disappoint Jean Ritchie by toning down his guitar playing so that it fit her style, rather than displaying what he could do on top of it.

When Jean Ritchie complained to Doc about not having taken any breaks, or indulged in any fancy guitar work, Doc replied, "But Jean, I did just what the song called for." In that one brief anecdote, told at her own expense, Jean Ritchie taught me what guitar accompaniment is all about, and why her style of performance has endured through so many changes of musical fashion, and even folk music instrumental mastery.

In her work, whether a traditional song like Black Is the Color, or one of her own great protest songs about strip mining like Black Waters or The L. and N. Don't Stop Here Anymore, the song is always front and center. Her role as a great folk artist is to serve the song, both vocally and instrumentally, not to impress the audience.

But in so doing, Jean Ritchie has continued to set the standard for traditional music performance, and to carry on her mountain legacy of songs inherited from the Ritchie Family and collected at home and abroad for over half a century.

Because of Jean Ritchie there are now dulcimer festivals all over the country, and the Summer Solstice Festival of Traditional Music, Dance and Storytelling, inspired by one Kentucky ballad singer's childhood disobedience to her overbearing father, continues to flourish.

Kubla Khan, Coleridge's unfinished masterpiece about a lost paradise, ends on this unforgettable image: In a vision once I saw a damsel with a dulcimer...

I too saw a damsel with a dulcimer, and happily I wasn't dreaming. It was Jean Ritchie.

Ross Altman has a Ph.D. in English. Before becoming a full-time folk singer he taught college English and Speech. He now sings around California for libraries, unions, schools, political groups and folk festivals. You can reach Ross at Greygoosemusic@aol.com


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad update
From: Severn
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 04:41 PM

Thanks, Stilly and Becky.

One of my musical heroes. A lady of astounding eloquence, whether in singing, playing, in writing or in speech. Best of luck in your recovery and thanks for your continued inspiration through the years.
I will continue to follow her progress.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad update
From: GUEST,Conrad Shiba
Date: 13 Feb 10 - 11:31 AM

Jean was on people's minds at the Dulcibrrr festival in Kentucky last weekend. Several of us sang some of her songs, and the group finale was "Goin' to Boston." She's such a great lady and inspiration!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad update
From: wysiwyg
Date: 13 Feb 10 - 01:03 PM

Thanks SRS. What a role model. (I'm adding an excerpt to my home office wall of inspirational women/role models.)

~S~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad update
From: frogprince
Date: 13 Feb 10 - 01:23 PM

There is still some good news in this ol' world! The lovely lady's spirit is obviously intact, and she is still able to find joy in life. Wishing continued healing and strength to her and the family.
                           Dean


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad update
From: GUEST,Susan Brumfield
Date: 13 Feb 10 - 11:01 PM

Thanks for sharing this news, Jon. I had a beautiful visit with your Mom about two weeks ago, and it was incredible to see her strength and spirit in tact. She was able to point to pictures on a communication sheet, and whispered a few sweet words, too! And when your Dad came in to the room, she lit up and smiled . . . what a happy sight!

Please know that my prayers, and so many others, will continue . . . for you, your brother and your Dad, as well as for your Mom. I'm sure you've got your hands full; if there's anything we can do to help, please don't hesitate to ask.

Best wishes, and love to your folks,

Susan B.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Jean Ritchie Illness
From: Donald Bauer (DPB)
Date: 14 Feb 10 - 12:14 AM

As most of you know, Jean Ritchie had a stroke last December and I believe has been hospitalized since. I have no further information on this but I've started this thread so that readers can share whatever news they have. I know that her husband, George Pickow, has been ill as well.

The e-mail address on the Jean Ritchie website is not operational and I'm not comfortable giving out the contact information I have for her, but I know she is a member of the Mudcat community and someone in her family may be checking up on messages here.

So let's all keep her in our thoughts and send our best wishes for her full recovery.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad (Jean Ritchie) update on illness
From: Donald Bauer (DPB)
Date: 14 Feb 10 - 12:24 AM

I started a thread on Jean's illness and am very greatful to find it redirected to this one posted by Jon. Thanks, Jon, for sharing whatever news you have. It's really great to read all these comments.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad (Jean Ritchie) update on illness
From: katlaughing
Date: 14 Feb 10 - 12:46 AM

DPB,

Thank you for thinking of us at the Mudcat. I see are a member, too. That's great.

We have a couple of other older threads about Jean's troubles starting with THIS ONE. You will find a lot more stories there.


All the best,

kat


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad (Jean Ritchie) update on illness
From: wysiwyg
Date: 14 Feb 10 - 08:36 AM

DPB,

And some of us have been singing for/with her (in my case and some others' it's a part of how I/we pray). There's a link to that thread at the top of the one Kat just gave.

~Susan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad (Jean Ritchie) update on illness
From: wysiwyg
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 10:23 AM

... as well as at the top of this thread.

(refresh)

~S~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad (Jean Ritchie) update on illness
From: GUEST,David
Date: 18 Feb 10 - 05:02 PM

Dear Jean,

Tuesday night I led "Wondrous Love" at our shape-note singing here in upstate New York in the hope that somehow our voices might reach you where you are now. I gave the singers the latest news that Jon has posted here. Given the distance, you should be hearing us about the time you get this message. I first sang this tune with you at your home about twenty-five years ago.

All my best wishes for your recovery.


David


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad (Jean Ritchie) update on illness
From: maeve
Date: 21 Feb 10 - 06:54 PM

This thread may be of interest to Jean and family Singing helps stroke recovery


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad (Jean Ritchie) update on illness
From: iancarterb
Date: 21 Feb 10 - 11:08 PM

The Bainbridge Island (WA) Shapenote group is having a sing this Sunday and we will definitely follow Guest David's lead and sing Wondrous Love for Jean.
Carter B


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad (Jean Ritchie) update on illness
From: maeve
Date: 22 Feb 10 - 08:25 PM

Sweet dreams, Jean and family.

maeve


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad (Jean Ritchie) update on illness
From: gnu
Date: 22 Feb 10 - 08:54 PM

Hope. Just that.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad (Jean Ritchie) update on illness
From: GUEST,Lisa Johnson (Strumelia)
Date: 23 Feb 10 - 08:32 PM

Still thinking of Jean and her family every day.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad (Jean Ritchie) update on illness
From: regiberry
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 09:45 PM

I'm so glad to hear of Jean's improvement.
I have been singing her songs alot lately.
She has been a SHERO to me. Her kindness, humor, and honesty have touched me. I met her when I first began to play the dulcimer over 30 years ago. I'm also grateful to find Jean on Youtube singing her songs!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad (Jean Ritchie) update on illness
From: EBarnacle
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 10:05 PM

The mention of the word "SHERO" above, reminded me of something my ex-wife once said. She commented that a toy of She-ra the most powerful woman in the universe needed a special stand to stand erect but once she was up, watch out!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad (Jean Ritchie) update on illness
From: Janie
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 10:48 PM

Spring will soon be here.

Still thinking of Jean and family, and all who love her.

Strength, love, hope and peace to all.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad (Jean Ritchie) update on illness
From: maeve
Date: 26 Feb 10 - 06:27 AM

Good morning, Jean and family. I heard the wild geese calling last week.

maeve


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad (Jean Ritchie) update on illness
From: GUEST,Paco
Date: 05 Mar 10 - 03:16 PM

I left a message on your facebook page. It did not seem to be enough. I am anxiously awaiting the news that you are back to your previous self. That indeed would be selfish. What I do wish is your continued progress. You have a long row to hoe. A strong country women you are. our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. As you have Blessed us may God Bless you and your family.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad (Jean Ritchie) update on illness
From: Marco
Date: 08 Mar 10 - 07:46 AM

All the best wishes from Italy, Jean.

You are the mother of all the dulcimer players of the world and I think to you every day.

Marco.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad (Jean Ritchie) update on illness
From: GUEST,Philppa
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 08:16 AM

belated international women's day greetings, early St Patrick's Day greetings from Ireland
keep up the good work
best wishes to Jean and all the family


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad (Jean Ritchie) update on illness
From: katlaughing
Date: 17 Mar 10 - 10:16 PM

I've almost missed sending you St. Patrick's Day wishes. May your days be suffused with Light and Progress and Love. We miss you.

love,

kat


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad (Jean Ritchie) update on illness
From: kendall
Date: 18 Mar 10 - 04:31 AM

Greetings from Maine, and continued best wishes for a full recovery.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad (Jean Ritchie) update on illness
From: Max
Date: 22 Mar 10 - 07:10 PM

I've been getting some requests for updates lately by phone and mail. Anything new to report?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad (Jean Ritchie) update on illness
From: wysiwyg
Date: 24 Mar 10 - 01:30 PM

I just figure that no news is good news, that healing is continuing, and that the family are busy with that. Beyond that assumption, of course, there's confident thoughts and prayer.

GO JEAN!

~S~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad (Jean Ritchie) update on illness
From: GUEST,Nell Shively
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 01:51 AM

I grew up in Viper, KY and our families knew one another quite well. Jean's sister was one of my teachers at the Viper High School. I just recently heard of Jeans's sickness and she and her family are in my prayers. I think of her every day and send my healing thoughts and all good things her way. It was so good to read about Jon singing and playing the dulcimer at her bedside. That must have meant so much to her. Bless you Jon. I would love to hear more about how she is doing at this time.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad (Jean Ritchie) update on illness
From: Janie
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 02:00 AM

Still adding my thoughts and positive intent to the circle of care and concern.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Jean Ritchie health
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Mar 10 - 11:34 PM

Anyone heard how Jean Ritchie is doing? Also maybe have her address at the facility where she was receiving care. I have lost it after I sent a card. Thanks, dulcigal


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad (Jean Ritchie) update on illness
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 21 Apr 10 - 09:56 AM

This press report is of a Port Washington concert featuring Peter Pickow which was videoed for Jean. No update on how Jean is. Anyone know? Hope she is improving.
Derek
http://portwashington.patch.com/articles/dave-sear-and-peter-pickow-appeal-to-port-folk


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad (Jean Ritchie) update on illness
From: Janie
Date: 05 Jun 10 - 01:50 PM

Just wondering if anyone knows how she is faring. Sending continued good thoughts....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad (Jean Ritchie) update on illness
From: Art Thieme
Date: 05 Jun 10 - 03:58 PM

George and Jean,
I surely do hope the rehab is going good for you! My thoughts are with you more than you know. Love from Art and Carol Thieme.

Peter, thanks for suggesting your dad be a friend of mine on Face book. As we speak, that has come to fruition. I hope you are doing good too!!
Art


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad (Jean Ritchie) update on illness
From: gnu
Date: 06 Jun 10 - 03:03 PM

Me too. All of the above.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad (Jean Ritchie) update on illness (Feb 2010)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Jun 10 - 04:55 PM

We haven't had any news since February, so the "update" title of this thread was a bid misleading. We'll change the date on the thread title when we do get an update.
I hope Jean is improving. Maybe no news is good news.
-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: KYTrad (Jean Ritchie) update on illness (Feb 2010)
From: maeve
Date: 21 Jun 10 - 07:18 AM

Hey, Joe:

The most recent update is over here. Great news!

Another thread relating to Jean and Jon is here.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...


This Thread Is Closed.


Mudcat time: 21 February 6:27 AM EST

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.