The Ritchie Family of Kentucky

Smithsonian Folkways [ ] is the nonprofit record label of the Smithsonian Institution. It is a part of the Smithsonian’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage…The label was founded in 1987 after the family of Moses Asch, founder of Folkways Records, donated the entire Folkways Records label to the Smithsonian. The donation was made on the condition that the Institution continue Asch’s policy that each of the more than 2,000 albums of Folkways Records remain in print forever, regardless of sales….As part of their mission in spreading the sounds of the world, Smithsonian Folkways has made the recordings of their archives available digitally in various ways, in addition to retail distribution of CDs and LPs and Internet download.

So while I was looking thru their website I ran across “The Ritchie Family of Kentucky” recorded in 1958 at   The album features her family members, including her parents, singing and playing instruments songs and she tells stories from her family. You can order the CD or download it if you like.

But what I found particularly interesting was you can also download the 26 page liner notes (14.5 MB) that goes with the album free even if you don’t get the album. It is very interesting reading about her family, life back when she was gowing up and about the songs. It also has some nice old photos. You can download the liner notes at:


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