(1953) Jean Ritchie – Songs from Kentucky Vols 1 & 2

tm17ritchieReleased in: 1953
Recorded by:
Argo issue numbers:
ARL 1012, ARL 1013; re-released same year as TM 17, TM 18

Sleeve notes: Cyril Clarke

US release: Issued in 1957 in the USA by Westminster as SWN 18021/RG 17 as part of the deal Argo had with the American label; 17 of the 21 tracks included – tracks not on the Westminster version marked with *. Not re-issued since 1957 as far as I’m aware.

Jean Ritchie – vocals, guitar, mountain dulcimer


Vol 1

Side 1
Old Joe Clark
The cuckoo *
Oh soldier, soldier
Gentle fair Jenny
The Turkish lady

Side 2
Barbry Ellen
Froggie went a-courting
Bachelor’s hall
Single girl
John Riley *

Vol 2

Sourwood Mountain
The gipsie laddie *
Hush little baby
Little devils
Pretty Polly
There was an old woman
One morning in May
Locks and keys *
Christ was born born in Bethlehem

I don’t know where these two LPs were recorded, but they were released while Jean Ritchie was on a Fulbright scholarship to Britain, researching the origins of the songs she had learnt from her Kentucky family.

Reviewing the releases in August 1953, W. A. Chislett said in The Gramophone: “It is a long time since I heard anything more enjoyable, for all the songs are interesting, many are beautiful and Miss Ritchie sings with a natural freshness that is appropriate and also charming in itself.”

Here’s an account by Jean Ritchie of her trip to Britain in 1952-53.

Thanks to Roel van Dijk for finding me the TM 17 cover on a Japanese web site. Completionists! Note the colours!

~ by folkcatalogue on April 24, 2009.

2 Responses to “(1953) Jean Ritchie – Songs from Kentucky Vols 1 & 2”

  1. can you advise me please I have Songs from Kentucky Jean Ritchie ARGO ARL 1012 – stamped record issued for review purposes only. Is it valuable?

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