Gems of the Backlist: FOLK SONGS OF THE SOUTHERN APPALACHIANS by Jean Ritchie

Here at the University Press of Kentucky, we’re in the middle of a program to digitize all of the books that we’ve published since our founding in 1943. It’s a lot of work going through over 1300 books, but it’s been a process full of fun surprises and astounding discoveries. Best of all, every now and then, there’s a book that we just can’t put down—a book so good we just can’t resist sharing it with you again:


It’s Throwback Thursday here at UPK which means a Gems of the Backlist post. Today we’re rediscovering our love for Jean Ritchie and folk music. In her book, Folks Songs of the Southern Appalachians, Jean Ritchie shares the rich cultural and musical history of southern Appalachia and shares with us some remarkable photographs as well.

Almost all of the songs begin with a little background information or a story that Jean Ritchie shares from her personal history. Not only do readers get a sense of Jean Ritchie, herself, but they see the music through her eyes. Readers see the pastoral landscapes that embody Kentucky, and the greater sense of community established in Appalachia. All in all, the book feels like a one-of-a-kind reading experience. Even if you’ve never been to the places she has described, you will feel at home with Jean Ritchie, while she shares her stories and sings along with them.

The book Folk Songs of the Southern Appalachians As Sung By Jean Ritchie is available for purchase here. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below! How did you like this Throwback Thursday?


Photos courtesy of Folk Songs of the Southern Appalachians


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