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Jean Ritchie Turns 90

05 Dec 12 - 01:42 PM (#3447572)
Subject: Happy 90th Birthday Jean Ritchie!
From: Dan Schatz

This Saturday, December 8, our beloved KYTRAD turns 90. Jean has been living quietly in Berea, KY for the last few years, in good spirits and well cared for by neighbors and family.

One of the great privileges of my adult life has been getting to know Jean, singing with her, and enjoying her company - most recently this Summer, when several of us joined her in Berea for a long afternoon of singing. The breadth and depth of Jean's music - and its continuing influence - continues to astound me. She is both a national treasure and one of the kindest, most down to earth people I have ever met. Just a lovely human being, in every way.

Jean's not on the internet these days, but if people want to leave birthday greetings here, I'll print out the whole thread and send it on to Jean. They may get there a little late, but they will get there.

Happy birthday Jean!

Dan


05 Dec 12 - 01:49 PM (#3447577)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Turns 90
From: Will Fly

Go , Kytrad, go!

Best wishes,

Will


05 Dec 12 - 02:03 PM (#3447589)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Turns 90
From: GUEST,Dave Eyre

Thank you for your contribution to the world of folk music.


05 Dec 12 - 02:11 PM (#3447593)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Turns 90
From: gnu

Dave Eyre... indeed! When "what is folk" is discussed in Mudcat, she is one of the answers.

Happies atchya Jean!


05 Dec 12 - 02:15 PM (#3447594)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Turns 90
From: GUEST

Happy birthday to you, Jean. I still have the messages we exchanged about five years back and I still feel honoured that you took the time to write back to me.

A fan in Canada.

Bruce Murdoch


05 Dec 12 - 02:16 PM (#3447595)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Turns 90
From: GUEST

PS I was a fan 50 years ago, too.

BM


05 Dec 12 - 02:18 PM (#3447598)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Turns 90
From: Mark Clark

Happy birthday, Jean. You are indeed a treasure. I was introduced to your music somewhat late (you were 39 at the time) but I've been an admirer and fan for 51 years.

      - Mark


05 Dec 12 - 02:21 PM (#3447599)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Turns 90
From: Joe_F

Time to read from her book, especially if you haven't read it before. It contains a wonderful Christmas story.


05 Dec 12 - 02:57 PM (#3447615)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Turns 90
From: Mark Ross

Happy Birthday Jean!


05 Dec 12 - 03:01 PM (#3447617)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Turns 90
From: GUEST,gillymor

One of my earliest musical memories is an LP of riddle songs Ms. Ritchie recorded with Oscar Brand. I played it to death. That and those early Joan Baez LP's got me hooked on folk music forever.
Happy Birthday, Jean.


05 Dec 12 - 03:09 PM (#3447623)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Turns 90
From: catspaw49

Happy Birthday Jean! Like Bruce Murdoch, I always enjoyed the interactions on Mudcat and thank you so much for one of the greatest threads we ever ran.......or at least to me. We research trying to find song origins and meanings all the time here and if we can find out what the artist who did it has to say it is a big help.

YOU on the other hand started a thread about a song ONLY YOU had recorded which your sister had written and wanted to know where she got the idea or the words in part. That was fun and a challenge......and we all did it together......successfully!!!

I spent my college years at Berea and I know even now its still a lovely place. Again, Happy Birthday.


Spaw


05 Dec 12 - 03:51 PM (#3447641)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Turns 90
From: Matthew Edwards

I still blush at remembering that I asked a fairly basic question about some song on Mudcat some years ago; I got a reply from Kytrad - a name I didn't immediately recognise - and I think I suggested she should check it out with Jean Ritchie!

Anyway best wishes to Jean for a very happy birthday, and thanks to you once again for all the pleasure you have so many of us through your songs. I also treasure the wonderful memories you have passed on in your books.

Thank you Jean, and God bless you!

Matthew


05 Dec 12 - 03:59 PM (#3447643)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Turns 90
From: CupOfTea

What a load of wonderful song Jean has bestowed on us all -
I've heaps and heaps of gratitude for all the joy I've had
- singing her words
- hearing her sing (only once in person, wish it had been more)
- hearing others sing her songs
- watching so many people drawn to traditional music because of her
- seeing her comments here on threads over the years.

What a wonderful, generous, singing soul! Best wishes for health and joy!

Joanne in Cleveland


05 Dec 12 - 04:20 PM (#3447656)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Turns 90
From: foggers

Beautiful music, beautiful lady; thanks Jean, and Happy Birthday!


05 Dec 12 - 05:11 PM (#3447681)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Turns 90
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman

Jean, Amba and I send our love and our very best wishes for your birthday and every day throughout the year. You and your music sustain and inspire us as always,

Bob Coltman


05 Dec 12 - 05:25 PM (#3447689)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Turns 90
From: Elmore

Happy Birthday Jean from a long time fan.


05 Dec 12 - 06:19 PM (#3447728)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Turns 90
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield

More best wishes from England! I only heard you sing in person once - in Chester over 20 years ago - but I remember it well. And those early recordings of ballads are just something else! Happy birthday!
Derek Schofield


05 Dec 12 - 06:44 PM (#3447737)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Turns 90
From: frogprince

Happy Birthday to one of the most talented, and best-hearted, people we've ever had "here" with us.
      Dean Elkins, in Michigan.


05 Dec 12 - 07:17 PM (#3447758)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Turns 90
From: The Sandman

happy birthday, I rem ember you at Norwich festival, England , thanks for your music


05 Dec 12 - 07:32 PM (#3447765)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Turns 90
From: Sandra in Sydney

birthday greetings from sunny, summery Sydney, Australia to a Tradition Bearer


05 Dec 12 - 07:34 PM (#3447766)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Turns 90
From: Little Robyn

Happy Birthday Kytrad.
Love from Robyn in New Zealand.


05 Dec 12 - 08:26 PM (#3447788)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Turns 90
From: ChanteyLass

Happy birthday, Jean. I will always remember hearing you in Rhode Island. I think Aubrey Atwater and Elwood Donnelly helped get you up here so the rest of us could finally hear you in person.


05 Dec 12 - 11:20 PM (#3447842)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Turns 90
From: open mike

Happy Birthday and thanks for all the music!


06 Dec 12 - 02:12 AM (#3447877)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Turns 90
From: Haruo

Happy Birthday, Jean! Still enjoy singing Amazing Grace to your Old Regular Baptist tune. Also "Now Is the Cool of the Day" which I found in the 1996 Quaker hymnal. Thanks! Blessings!

Haruo aka Leland


06 Dec 12 - 11:08 AM (#3448045)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Turns 90
From: Stilly River Sage

Jean, Happy Birthday greetings from the Dwyer clan of Washington State and Texas!

SRS


06 Dec 12 - 01:02 PM (#3448135)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Turns 90
From: GUEST,Philippa in Ireland

Happy Birthday, Jean!
I'm glad to read news of you.


06 Dec 12 - 01:46 PM (#3448160)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Turns 90
From: Don Firth

And Happy Birthday greetings from Seattle.

When my interest in folk music first became active in around 1952 or so, I went to Campus Music and Gallery, my favorite record store, and browsed through the folk music bin. Not very many in those days, no more than seven, all 10" LPs. A couple of Burl Ives, one of Susan Reed, one of Pete Seeger, one of Richard Dyer-Bennet, one of Kathleen Ferrier (classical voice, piano accompaniment)—and one of Jean Ritchie. These were the days before "shrink wrap," and the store had listening booths, so you could listen to the records and decide if you wanted to buy them or not.

All good stuff. But when I got to the Jean Ritchie record, something inside me said, "This is for real!"

I blew my limited student budget and bought the whole stack. And began learning songs from them. And I have a well-thumbed copy of Singing Family of the Cumberlands on my bookshelves.

Well do I remember sitting over coffee with a friend, discussing, puzzling, and speculating over the strange symbolism in "Nottamun Town."

Thank you, Jean, for many hours—years—of enjoyment. And for showing the way.

Don Firth


06 Dec 12 - 02:53 PM (#3448192)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Turns 90
From: Ed Brown

Happy Birthday, Jean.

I am pleased to share my birthday date (Dec. 8) with you.

I am also thankful for my many opportunities to enjoy your performances in concerts, workshops, and on recordings.

My wife, Beth, and I played your wonderful "Kentucky Christmas" again this year as the first Christmas album to welcome another holiday season.

So we wish you not only a Happy Birthday but a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year as well.


06 Dec 12 - 02:58 PM (#3448197)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Turns 90
From: topical tom

Happy Birthday, Jean! Thank you for the beautiful voice and music that you contributed to the wonderful world of folk music.


06 Dec 12 - 10:14 PM (#3448395)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Turns 90
From: Ross Campbell

Happy Birthday, Jean. Thank you for all the songs, and specifically for "Loving Hannah" which you kindly gave me nearly forty years ago at Norwich Folk Festival. Hope to sing it again tomorrow!


07 Dec 12 - 02:30 PM (#3448822)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Turns 90
From: Dan Schatz

Don, I'm especially struck by your comment. "This is for real!" Jean's music is so deeply rooted in tradition that even her newer songs have a timeless quality to them.

Lately, as Christmas comes near, I've been humming "Brightest and Best," and my all time favorite Christmas songs, Jean's own "Wintergrace."

"Peace Round" has been on my mind, too. What a simple and beautiful sentiment.

Dan


07 Dec 12 - 03:50 PM (#3448866)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Turns 90
From: maeve

Dear Jean,

When first I heard you singing your songs more than forty years ago, I knew I had found what I was looking for. Thank you for years of music; old songs, new songs, lovely tunes and insightful, flowing words. Thank you for the young faces filled with delight and dawning recognition in hundreds of children who listened to and sang your songs for the first time in my classes. Thank you for loving your family and raising your children to be kind and able people. Thank you for being true to your hopes and dreams, your family history, your own wise self.

May your 90th birthday be filled with light and laughter, family and friends...and a river rush of music.

Maeve, in Maine


07 Dec 12 - 06:52 PM (#3448966)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Turns 90
From: GUEST,Ben from Germany

Dear Jean,
thank you so very much for the beauty and grace you brought to folk music! You introduced me to the dulcimer and to many songs that have found a place deep in my heart. I turned my facebook profile into a Jean Ritchie shrine for the weekend :)All the best for you! You are a huge inspiration to me! BEN


07 Dec 12 - 07:25 PM (#3448987)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Turns 90
From: Lonesome EJ

A very Happy Birthday, Jean!


08 Dec 12 - 09:39 AM (#3449205)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Turns 90
From: Dan Schatz

Today's the day! Happy birthday Jean!

Dan


08 Dec 12 - 10:52 AM (#3449239)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Turns 90
From: katlaughing

I hope I am not too late for the printout. Thanks for doing this, Dan.

Happy Birthday to you, Jean. You are one of the best treasures this world has ever had. Your kindness, time, and effort in sharing with us has been deeply appreciated, fun, and your postings are a big part of the best of Mudcat's legacy. Thank you.

I shall never forget your kind words about my book and also your sister's sweet, clear, angelic voice (so like your own) as I listened to her tape the first night after open heart surgery. It was not an easy night and I am convinced I made it through it with the guidance of love and beauty in the songs and her singing. What blessings...both of you.

So, one more turn around the sun. May your day be filled with family and friends, happines, peace and tranquillity. Thank you, again, Dear Lady Jean!

With much love,

Kat LaFrance


08 Dec 12 - 11:05 AM (#3449241)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Turns 90
From: Arkie

Happy Birthday wishes from this little spot on the tail bone of the Ozarks. Have been inspired by your music and especially your dulcimer playing for many years.

Elliott Hancock


08 Dec 12 - 11:21 AM (#3449248)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Turns 90
From: Dan Schatz

No, Kat, I'll hold off a few more days and we can send it to her belated. More important that she get the good wishes than that they come on the day (after all, why not spread out the joy?) Besides, I should have put the date in the thread title.

Dan


08 Dec 12 - 11:41 AM (#3449260)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Turns 90
From: Thomas Stern

Best wishes to Jean Ritchie on her 90th Birthday - happiness,
health and good friends!

Thomas.


08 Dec 12 - 12:31 PM (#3449274)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Turns 90
From: Uncle Phil

Happy Birthday, Jean. You are a treasure.
- Phil


08 Dec 12 - 01:27 PM (#3449309)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Turns 90
From: Suffet

Jean,

Have a happy 90th birthday.

And have a merry Christmas and happy New Year as well.

--- Marilyn & Steve Suffet


08 Dec 12 - 01:40 PM (#3449314)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Turns 90
From: Carly

Dear Jean,

When I acquired my first dulcimer, no one I knew had even heard of such a thing, much less how to play it. Your dulcimer book, dear Jean, opened a musical world for me. I was about 11 years old. Not long after, I heard you sing, and since then, over the course of almost 50 years, I have been privileged to have heard you sing and spend time with you on several occasions.

I am among thousands who have learned songs and tunes from you, keeping the music alive. You have also provided a clear and loving picture of the place from which you brought these treasures; your family and the Cumberlands. You have quietly, profoundly influenced me in many ways, as you have done for many, many others. Thank you for that. And Happy Birthday!

Carly Gewirz


08 Dec 12 - 01:44 PM (#3449316)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Turns 90
From: RolyH

The lady is a legend - thank you


08 Dec 12 - 03:16 PM (#3449365)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Turns 90
From: foggers

Dear Jean
Happy 90th birthday.
I came to your music through a meandering route, from being an english folks singer and lover of ballads, learning about Cecil Sharp's visit to the Appalachian area and learning about the musical legacy of the Ritchie family. Finding your singing and music inspired me to learn dulcimer and inspired my partner to try his hand at building some too. You are such a gracious and generous lady; thanks so much for a lifetime of music and sharing. I hope your birthday is full of love and laughter, and music.
Jane Foggin
England


08 Dec 12 - 04:11 PM (#3449411)
Subject: RE: Happy Birthday kytrad-Jean Ritchie Dec 8
From: GUEST

Jean, Happy, Happy Birthday! Ralph Lee Smith


08 Dec 12 - 04:32 PM (#3449440)
Subject: RE: Happy Birthday kytrad-Jean Ritchie Dec 8
From: Stringsinger

Jean should be celebrated as one of the best songwriters in the country.
Her songs are classics in the folk style.

Blackwaters, The L.and N. Don't Stop Here Anymore, In the Cool of the Day,
.........she should be the model for many folkies who write songs.

They contain:
1. authenticity
2. specificity
3. important social messages
4. accessibility (anyone can learn them)
5. intelligence
6. simplicity and directness
7. singability

Happy birthday Jean


08 Dec 12 - 05:03 PM (#3449458)
Subject: RE: Happy Birthday kytrad-Jean Ritchie Dec 8
From: Anne Neilson

Happy birthday to a lady I've never met (but have heard and have read -- mightily inspired!).

And couldn't agree more with Stringsinger!


08 Dec 12 - 08:50 PM (#3449569)
Subject: RE: Happy Birthday kytrad-Jean Ritchie Dec 8
From: Dan Schatz

I'll add these. :)

D


08 Dec 12 - 10:42 PM (#3449571)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Turns 90
From: katlaughing

Thanks, Dan, excellent idea!


08 Dec 12 - 10:55 PM (#3449576)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Turns 90
From: Beer

A great celebration indeed for you. Just look at all the friends you have. You are truly blessed.
From Adrien in a small corner in Quebec who is also surrounded by friends like Bruce Murdoch and Topical Tom.


08 Dec 12 - 10:59 PM (#3449579)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Turns 90
From: IvanB

Happy birthday, Jean, from another fan. Your songs in "Celebration of Life" and "Singing Family of the Cumberlands" were some of our family's favorites in our evening singalongs. Thanks for sharing them with us and enriching our family life.

Ivan


09 Dec 12 - 05:15 PM (#3449876)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Turns 90
From: EBarnacle

Welcome to another year and many more to come.


10 Jan 13 - 10:57 PM (#3464366)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Turns 90
From: Dan Schatz

Well, the birthday greetings went out late, but they did go out, and Jean enjoyed them very much indeed. I'm told she read them multiple times. Thanks to the Mudcat for being such a great community!

Dan


11 Jan 13 - 06:01 AM (#3464437)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Turns 90
From: maeve

Thanks for coordinating this birthday project, Dan. Would that I could chat with Jean once more.


02 Feb 13 - 02:02 AM (#3474761)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Turns 90
From: GUEST,Lissa Ritchie

Happy belated birthday, dear cousin! I know that we have never met, but you were a cousin to my grandfather. A few years back when I was doing family research you were so kind as to email me stories about my great grandfather and such and I am eternally grateful to you for that.

It was always nice growing up sitting around the table with my father's sisters, listening to them sing. And so much more wonderful knowing where that came from. It was a Ritchie thing! Wonderful to know being a Ritchie came with more than just being ornery and stubborn!

I love listening to your records. It reminds me of being a child and listening to my Aunts.

Anyway, I hope you did have a wonderful birthday and a happy holiday season with your family! I think of you often and please know that you are in the prayers of all of my Ritchie aunts and the like :-)

Sending my love from California ♥
Lissa Ritchie


02 Feb 13 - 03:55 AM (#3474769)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Turns 90
From: GUEST

I have some beautiful photos of her on my old vinyl covers


04 Feb 13 - 01:12 AM (#3475499)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Turns 90
From: Haruo

Tell her I'm planning on including the Old Regular Baptist tune for Amazing Grace that she shared with me years back in a hymnal supplement I'm putting together for the Evergreen Region of American Baptist Churches; it's to be called Evergreen Sings and should be out in a year or so. If I had an address for Ms. Ritchie I'd send her a copy.


22 Jul 13 - 11:20 PM (#3540623)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Turns 90
From: GUEST,Nick Royal

I taught a folk music class in the late 1970s at UC-Santa Cruz, and Jean Ritchie and her husband, George Pickerow (sp?) spent two weeks w. the class one year. I'd like to write
her a note. Is there an address for her now?
Nick Royal
Santa Cruz, CA
July 22, 2013


23 Jul 13 - 03:06 AM (#3540669)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Turns 90
From: Joe Offer

Hi, Nick -
Send me an e-mail and I'll make sure you get an address for Jean.
-Joe Offer-
joe@mudcat.org


23 Jul 13 - 08:21 PM (#3540998)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Turns 90
From: Felipa

i was just telling someone about Jean tonight

it was wonderful to Jean and family when they lived in Long Island

so very late or very early = little over halfway point - birthday wishes to Jean