Today In Mountain Dulcimer History: 7 Februrary 1925

A dose of mountain dulcimer history throughout the year

Today In Mountain Dulcimer History: 7 Februrary 1925

Postby dbennett » Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:30 am

Patty Looman (1925-2012) was born in Mannington, West Virginia. Patty obtained her degree in education was a high school teacher for 35 years.

Patty was around music all her life. She grew up hearing famed hammered dulcimer player Russell Fluharty (1906-1989). Though Patty may be most remembered as a hammered dulcimer player she had quite an interest in "lap dulcimers" and was a well-respected player of that instrument as well.

Patty's mother had a feed store in Mannington, WV for 57 years. According to Patty Mannington had many lap and hammered dulcimer makers and occasionally someone would swap her mother a lap dulcimer for feed. With that, and her own interest in traditional instruments, it was said Patty owned the largest collection of historical instruments in West Virginia and was actively involved in researching and documenting traditional music and instruments.

In 2007, Patty was awarded the Vandalia Award, West Virginia’s highest folk life honor for being a champion of the old-time music of northern West Virginia, her favorite type of music for playing the hammered and mountain dulcimer.

For this reason, PattyFest, an old-time music festival, was created in her honor and held in Morgantown, West Virginia. PattyFest is not a dulcimer festival per se, though many mountain and hammered dulcimer players attend.

Because of Patty Looman, old time, mountain dulcimer, and hammered dulcimer music are alive in West Virginia.
Looman Patty1.JPG

Looman Patty2.JPG
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