Mudcat Café message #589346 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #38580   Message #589346
Posted By: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
09-Nov-01 - 06:57 PM
Thread Name: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
Oh, Joe, DON'T ask what my favorite songs are! Impossible to answer- there are so many. Usually it's the one I'm singing at the moment. Well, of my written ones, I'd pick, "Now is the Cool of the Day," for one, and "L&N Don't Stop Here Anymore," for another. The ones that started as poems, then got a tune, like, "Wintergrace," and "None But One." "Wild Horses" has a great driving rhythm, unusual for a song of mine, but I love singing it, also, "One More Mile." See what you've done now- got me started...

Of the old ones, the list goes on forever..."Brightest and Best," Granny Catty's Christmas hymn, is right there at the top. Our family's "Bachelors' Hall," ALL the ballads, beginning with Uncle Jason's and Dad's, "Fair Annie of the Lochroyan."

About the electric instruments on, "None But One." One day George said, "Let's make a record that'll get played on AM radio." I replied, "I couldn't care less." But he never listens, so started making plans, and pretty soon, Ron Frangipane had heard about it, and asked to be music director- and Art Steckler called and said, "I'd love to produce this album if you'll promise to do that orphan song, "Two Little Children." Don't know where he had heard it, consorting with the Beatles as much as he did, and I thought it a weird song to flip over, but I liked it well enough, so said of course.

Ron and Al thought it would be good to have guests, so we asked around amongst friends and acquaintances, and Mary Travers, Janice Ian, Oscar Brand,Susan Reed and chorus, and a few others joined our sons Jon and Peter, Eric Weisburg and his Deliverance Band, and when Deliverance showed up with electric guitars, synthesizers, and worse, I quailed inside but then thought, "Look, Jean, you have a log cabin in the Kentucky Mountains, furnished with old family furniture and local antiques,-- and an electric stove, refrigerator, radio and tv, lights, a gas water heater and furnace, and you're the same person you have always been. I'm sure that old songs can survive whatever surrounds them, as well." So, I cautioned everyone to use their innate good taste, and respect the music, then served them coffee and homemade carrot cake and we did the recordings. In the end I thought the accompaniments very tasteful- especially the jamming section in the title song, "None But One." And most of my old friends liked the record. One man started his letter, "I see that you've finally sold out. I was madder'n a wet hen when I put that record on. Now it's been a week and it's still the only thing I've had on the turntable!"

Just one or two yells, and complaints, but most folks approved. Old friend Paul Nelson, in announcing the Rolling Stone Critic's Award for that year, wrote a review that made me cry.

It was an experiment. The album has held up over the years, though I have not done another like it. I guess I wanted to prove something. The songs survived.