Jean Ritchie Talks Back

By Jean Metcalfe

D(eadline) Day for this March issue brought a wonderful letter from our February cover subject, Jean Ritchie. I'd like to share a portion of it with our readers:

Many, many thanks for your beautiful article! I was truly impressed with just the sheer length of it. No, really, you managed to take all my ramblings and goings-of-on tangents and put it all into quite readable form which is no mean accomplishment, I assure you.

. . Thanks for sending along extra copies of the magazine. I hope you don't mind if I use it occasionally for my own publicity (as I am doing with the CJ article of Ronni's [Lundy] that I sent you). Let me know if there is any objection.

We guessed wrong about the KMW [Kentucky Music Weekend] weekend concert it is actually on July 24 -26 but I'm sure there'll be plenty of notice in your paper before then, so no harm done. Nancy Johnson [KMW founder and organizer] called me- she's very happy with your piece and thinks even a wrong date is lovely advertising for KMW. Also, she confirmed that I'm to do the Sunday morning hymn-sing as usual, in addition to the Saturday night performance.

A couple of weeks ago my friends at Mountain Stage radio show out of Charleston, WV (Larry Groce - you must know him) called to invite me to be a co-guest on the March 15th show with Emmylou Harris! I'm really excited and a little bit nervous, but my leg is steadily getting better, so I told them OK. They will fly George [Pickow, Jean's husband] and me up from Florida where we'll be on March 14th and then on home to NY. Also, in addition to the appearances I told you about, I'll be performing on May 9th at Wyandotte Woods, a festival in Corydon, Indiana, in the evening and have agreed to sing a few songs and help Dan Spurlock (conductor of the Louisville Youth Orchestra) sort of host a Kentucky Bicentennial show at .. the Ky. Center for the Arts, on June 7th .. in Whitney Hall -I think in the afternoon ..

I realize that I'm going on as though you'll want to print all this. If you don't, that's fine! But you're welcome to. I seem to remember seeing some artists' itineraries in 'Music News.' There are one or two others before August, too, that still have to be cofirmed.

Thanks again I'm already getting mail from the article .. John Harrod wrote this morning, asking to be on our mailing list!

Best to you and all there Jean.

(Thanks for your letter, Jean and I look forward to seeing Jane and July 25.)