Jean Ritchie Memorial Concert

Jean Ritchie's Kentucky Mother Goose

Last night I spent over three hours at a tribute to Jean Ritchie, the “Mother of Folk,” who passed away on June 1 this year. The tribute was sponsored by the Folk Music Society of NY (FMSNY), and was organized by folk musician Dan Schatz. Jean’s two sons, Jon and Peter Pickow were in attendance, as were a host of wonderful folk musicians, including Suzie Glaze; Tom Paxton; Ken Schatz; Happy Traum; Heather Wood; Lorraine and Bennett Hammond; Sally Rogers and Howie Burson; Lisa Null; and Mick Lane. And let’s not forget the best keepers of the folk music tradition: the audience — many of us members of FMSNY. (I also ran into fellow members of Clearwater — reminding me how important folk music is in bringing people together.) It is the music of the people, after all, and we did Jean’s musical repertoire justice: we all sang our hearts out. It was a joy to participate. As an aside, Jean passed just before the final draft of Jean Ritchie’s Kentucky Mother Goose: Songs and Stories from My Childhood was finished, co-written with Susan Brumfield with illustrations by Maurice Sendak. It’s a wonderful book of stories, photos, and music — including a CD with even more treasures.

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