Today In Mountain Dulcimer History: 6 February 1958

A dose of mountain dulcimer history throughout the year

Today In Mountain Dulcimer History: 6 February 1958

Postby dbennett » Mon Feb 06, 2017 6:34 am

Balis W. Ritchie (1869-1958) died and was buried in the Ritchie Cemetery near Viper in Perry County, Kentucky.

He was married to Abigail Hall (1877 - 1972) and they were the parents of 14 children. At least two of their children, Edna (1910-1997) and Jean (1922-2015) were noted ballad singer/collectors and dulcimer players.

Balis Ritchie once commented that dulcimers had been a part of life in Perry and Knott counties since he could remember. In "The Dulcimer Book", by Jean Ritchie she writes "As long as I can remember, and as long as my father could remember, and as long as his father could remember, there have been dulcimers, or "dulcimores", made and played in our Kentucky mountains."

In "Jean Ritchie's dulcimer people" she wrote that her father probably learned to play from Uncle Eddy. According to Jean her father was “the finest dulcimer player I have ever known”.

One of the mountain dulcimers that Balis played was made by Uncle Ed Thomas. On page 53 Jean Ritchie's book, Dulcimer People, she writes, “We had one of Uncle Will Singleton's dulcimers, and the one by Thomas that Edna had won at Pine Mountain: He taught me to play on these.” Regarding the Thomas dulcimer Jean continued on page 57, “Edna won her first dulcimer (a Thomas) for knowing the most ballads in the Pine Mountain Settlement School where she was a young student in 1929...The dulcimer she won long ago was given to Dad, for he liked it so...”
Balis Ritchie.jpg
Last edited by dbennett on Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Today In Mountain Ducimer History: 6 February 1958

Postby dbennett » Sat Feb 03, 2018 7:26 am

Balis Ritchie w John Jacob Nile.jpg

Balis Ritchie4.jpg
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