Jean Ritchie, known as the "Mother of Folk" was a major contributor to the national revival of folk music across America during the second half of the 20th century. Her songs have been covered by artists including Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, and Emmylou Harris.
Ritchie is portrayed by Rachel Lee Rogers of Versailles, KY. Rogers trained at Northern Kentucky University, Rutgers, and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts.
Ritchie eventually became known as the "Mother of Folk" in recognition of her contributions to the art form. Her songs have been covered by many famous artists, including Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt and Dolly Parton. She was recorded extensively by famed folklorist and musician Alan Lomax for the Library of Congress.
Traditional musician, songwriter, poet, commercial performer, recording artist, author and composer Jean Ritchie, born in Viper, Perry County, Kentucky, in 1922, was the youngest of Balis and Abigail Ritchie's 14 children. She began her recording career in 1952, signing with Elektra Records. Throughout her career she recorded more than 35 albums, which strongly reflected her Kentucky heritage and featured her playing the mountain dulcimer. Known as the "Mother of Folk," Ritchie was a major contributor to the national revival of folk music across American during the mid to second half of the 20th century.
Artists including Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, and Dolly Parton have covered her songs. Jean Ritchie was also an outspoken environmental activist. Her song, "Black Waters" is a well-known protest song that Ritchie wrote about strip mining in Kentucky.
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