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Obit: Homer Ledford (11 Dec 06)

Pinetop Slim 13 Dec 06 - 10:28 AM
DannyC 13 Dec 06 - 09:28 PM
BanjoRay 14 Dec 06 - 07:23 PM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 15 Dec 06 - 05:20 PM
GUEST,Art Thieme 16 Dec 06 - 12:15 AM
GUEST,beachcomber 16 Dec 06 - 11:35 AM
DannyC 16 Dec 06 - 08:52 PM
BanjoRay 17 Dec 06 - 09:08 AM
GUEST,shirley barger 18 Dec 06 - 12:02 AM
GUEST,Russ 18 Dec 06 - 12:18 PM
GUEST,Harrie Aginsky 20 Mar 13 - 03:58 AM
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Subject: Obit: Homer Ledford
From: Pinetop Slim
Date: 13 Dec 06 - 10:28 AM

By Shawntaye Hopkins

McClatchy Newspapers

(MCT)

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Bluegrass musician and instrument maker Homer Ledford, whose work is displayed at the Smithsonian Institution, died Monday afternoon.

Ledford, of Winchester, Ky., was 79.

"He'd been sick real bad for a month or so," said Vernell Carpenter, wife of Rollie Carpenter, a member of the group Homer Ledford and the Cabin Creek Band.

The band had been performing since 1976.

"He hadn't played with the band all year," she said. "He'd been real sick and couldn't walk or anything."

Vernell Carpenter said she and Rollie Carpenter received word of Ledford's death Monday from another member of the band, L.C. Johnson. Other band members are Marvin E. Carroll and Pamela Case.

Ledford was born Sept. 26, 1927, in the Tennessee mountains.

At an early age back in Tennessee, Ledford started making musical instruments, according to his band's Web site.

At 18, he was given a scholarship to attend John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, N.C. He later attended Berea College, but transferred and graduated from what is now Eastern Kentucky University in 1954.

Ledford worked as a high school industrial arts teacher and became a full-time instrument maker.

He completed an estimated 5,776 dulcimers, 475 banjos, 26 mandolins, 26 guitars, 18 ukuleles, and four violins, among other instruments, the Web site said.

Ledford has samples of his craft in the Smithsonian Institution, including a fretless banjo, an Appalachian dulcimer, and a dulcitar, an instrument of his own invention, which he patented.

He was honored in Winchester in 1986 when the Homer Ledford Bluegrass Festival was named after him.

He also was one of the original inductees in the Kentucky Stars. A sidewalk plaque honoring him is in front of the Downtown Arts Center on Main Street in Lexington.

In 2005, Ledford helped restore an 1850 Martin parlor guitar - played by Henry Clay's granddaughter, Anne Clay McDowell - for Ashland, The Henry Clay Estate.

"Homer was a delight to work with, and until I showed up on his doorstep, he had only worked on one other Martin guitar dating to the 19th century," Ann Hagan-Michel, executive director of the estate, said at that time. "He's done a wonderful job, and the guitar is playing nicely now."

He is survived by his wife, Colista. The two met as students at Berea College in the late 1940s. They were married more than 50 years.

Information on funeral arrangements was not available Monday night.

---

© 2006, Lexington Herald-Leader (Lexington, Ky.).

Visit the World Wide Web site of the Herald-Leader at http://www.kentucky.com

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Homer Ledford (11 Dec 06)
From: DannyC
Date: 13 Dec 06 - 09:28 PM

Homer was a wonderful and warm and talented man... he was real as rain.   We're wonderin' here how that little Chapel in Winchester will ever hold all of the throng that have set out from hither and yon to pay their/our respects.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Homer Ledford (11 Dec 06)
From: BanjoRay
Date: 14 Dec 06 - 07:23 PM

I've played one of Homer's banjos here in the UK - owned by a friend of mine. Beautiful instrument. I wish I'd met him.
Ray


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Subject: RE: Obit: Homer Ledford (11 Dec 06)
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 15 Dec 06 - 05:20 PM

A rare good old friend- to me and to his ever-widening world. He made dulcimers for the better part of his life- got the pattern for his first one from my sister Edna at one of the Brasstown, NC Folk School's summer dance/song weeks, and she later acquired that first Ledford dulcimer.

We have shared many song gatherings and festival stages and workshops. He could talk for hours without a break- and everyone still wanted to listen! He was a storehouse of information about almost everything, was a dedicated musician, a respecter of tradition, a sought-after story teller, and you could see his smile and hear his laugh coming at you a from a mile away. He was a modest person- never bragging on his work, just sure that it was good and the best he could make it. Homer Ledford was one of the Good People. I think that his friendliness,his love shown to all, his wide influence will insure that there are many more good people in this battered world.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Homer Ledford (11 Dec 06)
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 16 Dec 06 - 12:15 AM

Jean,

What a lovely tribute.

We had two of his dulcimers at the Old Town Folklore Center in Chicago, Illinois when Fred Holstein and I worked there---about 1965, '66, and/or 1967. Fine memories.

Art


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Subject: RE: Obit: Homer Ledford (11 Dec 06)
From: GUEST,beachcomber
Date: 16 Dec 06 - 11:35 AM

How sad it is to hear of the death of Homer Ledford. I had the good fortune to meet him on several occasions here in Ireland at some Bluegrass Festivals. Together with the Band "Cabin Creek" all you people from the Kentucky region can be assured that you could not have had a finer "representative" than he. His musicianship, stage presence and his courtly Southern manner marked him out and ensured that his concert appearances were always worthy of the ovations they received here in Ireland.
His long-time colleague Rollie is another who merits similiar acclaim.
They always struck me as the epitome of Old American society.
God be good to you Homer, I'm sure He will.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Homer Ledford (11 Dec 06)
From: DannyC
Date: 16 Dec 06 - 08:52 PM

http://www.heraldleaderphoto.com/multimedia/homer/ledford.html


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Subject: RE: Obit: Homer Ledford (11 Dec 06)
From: BanjoRay
Date: 17 Dec 06 - 09:08 AM

Thnaks Danny. Danny gave us a link, reproduced here as a blicky, to a slide show with soundtrack of Homer's funeral.
Ray


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Subject: RE: Obit: Homer Ledford (11 Dec 06)
From: GUEST,shirley barger
Date: 18 Dec 06 - 12:02 AM

I had the pleasure of meeting Homer Ledford while attending Eastern many years ago. I have gone to hear the band and really enjoyed them. I had him made me a dulcimer around 1964. It is with saddness of his passing. Kentucky has lost a great musician.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Homer Ledford (11 Dec 06)
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 18 Dec 06 - 12:18 PM

I am very sorry to hear of Homer's passing.

Bought a dulcimer from him in '75. Still looks and sounds great.
Excellent tone and a surprising amount of volume from a relatively small instrument.

Homer also played the saw.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Homer Ledford (11 Dec 06)
From: GUEST,Harrie Aginsky
Date: 20 Mar 13 - 03:58 AM

i bought a Homer Ledford signature dulcimer when student EKU on recommendation Jean Drusedow,costume design professor.

Going to his hallowed instrument workshop a rustic Appalachian time. He took pains to demonstrate each step of making a distinctive dulcimer,gladly showing off his precision tools. Homer put up your name in a ledger configuring every dulcimer he made up to yours since he started. i reckon is way Homer kept track he made 5,776 dulcimers.

It was truly an event to impart meaning to your educational rites. You were glad you went.


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