Ralph Lee Smith

Traditional Appalachian Music

Books & CDs

The following is a list of Ralph's books and CDs.  Prices are indicated.  You can use the form on the Contact page to order, or you can just contact Ralph directly.  Send mailings to Chimney House Music, 1662 Chimney House Road, Reston, VA 20190, email ralphleesmith@comcast.net or phone 703-435-7420.


The Books


       


                  

              

                   


The Story of the Dulcimer, by Ralph Lee Smith, This book was published in 1986 and is out of print. It played a major role in stimulating interest in the history and traditions of the dulcimer. There is a steady demand for the book. Copies are scarce and prices in the second hand book trade are high. A number of libraries in the U.S. and Canada have copies. To read it, go to your local library and request a copy on interlibrary loan.  

Songs and Tunes of the Wilderness Road, by Ralph Lee Smith, with musical arrangements by Madeline MacNeil - This collection of traditional music seeks to unite the dulcimer with the people, the music, and the world from which it came. It tells the story of the Wilderness Road, most famous of all American trails, with many photos, and links it to the history and heritage of the dulcimer. Sixteen old tunes with simplified musical notation, guitar chords, and dulcimer tablature. Tunings are DAA, DAC and DAG, with no 6 ½ fret, 80 pp.  $15

Folk Songs of Old Kentucky, Two Song Catchers in the Kentucky Mountains, by Ralph Lee Smith, with musical arrangements by Madeline MacNeil - Provides 20 beautiful Anglo-American folk songs, field-collected by two real-life 'song catchers,' Josephine McGill and Loraine Wyman, in the Kentucky Cumberlands, 1914 and 1916. Includes exciting first-hand accounts of their adventures in the isolated mountain world, before radios, roads and cars. Rescued from arrangements in rare books, and presented with simplified musical notation, guitar chords, and dulcimer tablature, 80pp.  $15

Folk Songs of Old Virginia, by Ralph Lee Smith, with musical arrangements by Madeline MacNeil.  First in trio of books on songs collected in Appalachia by Cecil Sharp and Maud Karpeles in 1916 - 1918, that appear in their famous work, English Folk Songs From the Southern Appalachians, published in 1932. Contains 28 songs, with musical notation, guitar chords, and dulcimer tablature.  With 12 period photographs, 66pp.  $18.

Song Treasures of the Cumberland Mountains, by Ralph Lee Smith, with musical arrangements by Madeline MacNeil.  Second in a trio of books based on songs collected in Appalachia by Cecil Sharp and Maud Karpeles in 1916 - 1918, that appear in their famous work, English Folk Songs From the Southern Appalachians, published in 1932.  Contains 29 songs, with musical notation, guitar chords, and dulcimer tablature.  With 13 period photographs, 61pp.  $18

Smoky Mountain Memories, by Ralph Lee Smith, with musical arrangements by Madeline MacNeil.  Third in a trio of books based on songs collected in Appalachia by Cecil Sharp and Maud Karpeles in 1916 - 1918, that appear in their famour work, English Folk Songs From the Southern Appalachians, published in 1932.  Contains 26 songs, with musical notation, guitar chords, and dulcimer tablature.  With 15 period photographs and map, 43pp.  $18

Greenwich Village: The Happy Folk Singing Days, 1950s-1960s, By Ralph Lee Smith, with musical arrangements by Madeline MacNeil - Based on Ralph's own experiences in the Village, this book includes a 40-page essay on the Village scene during the Folk Revival, with accompanying photos and illustrations, and 20 songs sung by Ralph and his friends in Allan Block's Sandal Shop, Washington Square, and the Folklore Center on MacDougal Street.  If you weren't there, this book will take you there! An unforgettable voyage into a magical time, 96 pp. $13

Appalachian Dulcimer Traditions, Second Edition,  By Ralph Lee Smith - This is a first-hand report on the effort to enlarge our knowledge of the dulcimer's history through field work in Appalachia, looking for old instruments and listening to the tales of old folks. The book provides information on the dulcimer's origins and early history, describes major design traditions, and focuses on key makers in Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, and Kentucky. Published by Scarecrow Press in its American Folk Music Series,
183pp.  $38

The Seeds of Love, This book contains 24 folk songs collected in England by the great folk song collector, Cecil Sharp, in 1903-1913, along with 12 American versions, eight of them collected in the Appalachian Mountains by Sharp in 1916-1918.  Some of the American versions are recognizable variants ofthe English versions, and some have compleely different tunes!  You are guaranteed to love them all.  With musical score, guitar chords, and dulcimer tablature.  60 pp., $18.



Recordings: 
   

Across the Blue Ridge: Songs with the Mountain Dulcimer, sung and played by Madeline MacNeil and Ralph Lee Smith - on this CD, Maddie and Ralph play dulcimers and sing old-time tunes that they have especially loved and have often performed over the years. Versions of the songs have been known in the Shenandoah Valley and the Appalachian Mountains for as long as anyone can remember. $10

The Songs on Across the Blue Ridge:
Waterbound
Somebody's Tall and Handsome
Scarborough Fair
The Old Woman and the Pig
The Storms are on the Ocean
Who's Going to Shoe Your Pretty Little Foot?
Going to Boston
When Are You Coming to See Me?
Land of Promise
The Colorado Trail
Chickens are a'Crowin
Shenandoah
Old Man at the Mill
Pretty Little Turtle Dove
My Home's Across the Blue Ridge Mountains 


Tunes of the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains     

Tunes of the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains, played on the Mountain Dulcimer and Harmonica by Ralph Lee Smith - originally issued in 1982 as a cassette with accompanying booklet by Traditional Records of Cosby, Tennessee, this was for many years a favorite seller in gift shops on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Traditional Records has made its remaining supply of the booklets available for this reissue, and the cassette has been transferred to CD.  Here is old time music played the old time way!  $15    

The Tunes on this Recording:
Over the Waterfall
Richmond Town
Liberty
When Are You Coming to See Me?
Sourwood Mountain
Storms Are on the OceanCluck Old Hen
Arkansas Traveler
I Ain't Going to Work Tomorrow
Sally in the Garden
Old Mule
Mule
Once I Had a Sweetheart
Golden Slippers
Old Man at the Mill
Fisher's Hornpipe
Goodbye, Little Bonnie, Goodbye
Cumberland Gap
John Brown's Dream
Run Mountain