Jean Ritchie is the best known and most respected singer of traditional ballads in the United States. The youngest daughter of one of the most famous American ballad-singing families, the Ritchie family of Perry County, Kentucky, Jean carries on her family's legacy as a singer of folk songs and traditional ballads. The music found here tells the story of the ""Singing Ritchie Family."" Built upon a foundation of balladry inherited from old-world Scotland, the family's repertoire was certainly eclectic but not haphazard. The Child ballads, lyric folksongs, play party or frolic songs, Old Regular Baptist lined hymns, Native American ballads, "hant" songs, and carols brought together in this collection were assembled by family members who actively sought out fragments of tunes and completed them by adding or embellishing verses and melodies. This new edition has faithfully retained all seventy-seven line scores of the songs and added four new ones, Loving Hannah, Lovin' Henry, Her Mantle So Green, and The Reckless and Rambling Boy. The original headnotes and photographs tell the history of the song as well as how it became a part of the family's life. Chords are indicated for accompainment, and a new audiography and videography have been added to this edition.
"A musical glimpse of a unique American cultural enclave when railroads, coal mining, and hillbilly radio were everpresent." -- Come-All-Ye
"A delightful crystallization of the best, in an age now surfeited with the far-less-than-best." -- Folklore Society Bulletin