Women in Traditional Music

By Elizabeth DiSavino, author

By Elizabeth DiSavino, author

Singing Family of the Cumberlands

Jean Ritchie


Jean Ritchie's wonderful remembrance of family life, rife with ballads and songs. Ritchie brought Applachian ballads and the dulcimer to a world outside of Appalachian in the 1950's and 60's. Check out her recordings if you haven't already.

Jane Hicks Gentry-Pa

Betty N. Smith


Betty Smith's lovely book about Cecil Sharp's prime informant. Gentry lived in Hot Springs, NC, and Sharp took over 60 songs from her. A lovely account of the life of this forgotten ballad-keeper.

The Spirit of the Mountains

Emma Bell Miles


Life in Appalachia as told by an Appalachian. Emma Bell Miles lovely book speaks of her experiences as an Appalachian wife and mother in Walden's Ridge, Tennessee. Some versions of this book also contain her drawings, and all contain the songs she wrote down - hymns, funny songs,r evival hymns, fiddle tunes, and a ballad or two were all transcribed in this wonderful 1905 publication.

Appalachian Travels: The Diary of Olive Dame Campbell

Olive Dame Campbell


The diary of the woman who in 1915 clued Cecil Sharp in to the existence of British ballad survivals in the Applachian Mountains. This covers the period of time that Campbell was collecting ballads prior to Sharp's arrival, and Elizabeth McCutcheon's excellent introduction gives us a window into the rich life of this author, ballad collector, and founder of the American folk arts school movement.

Katherine Jackson French: Kentucky's Forgotten Ballad Collector

Elizabeth Disavino


A biography of an early unknown Kentucky ballad collector whose effortss to publish a large, scholarly collection of Southern Appalachian balladry in 1910 predated the famous Cecil Sharp by seven years. Includes for the first time the publication of Jackson's ballad collection.