Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Gems: Lily May Ledford


On the left is my painting of Lily May (click to enlarge). Little did I know I would learn so much about her when I painted this.

I've been listening to Gems: Lily May Ledford. This striking collection of songs, instrumentals and stories showcases the natural talent and honest humor of Lily May. She was born on March 17, 1917 in a remote area of Red River Gorge, Kentucky called Pinch 'em Tite Hollar.

After reading her autobiography, I can only reflect with awe her recounting of her childhood and her rise to stardom with the Coon Creek Girls on the radio, highlighted by her performance at the White House for President Franklin Roosevelt and his wife, Eleanor who were visited by the king and queen of England.

Lily May's talent in music can only be compared to my friend Doc Watson. They have a special quality that transcends the flesh; when I listen to them I feel as if I'm immersed in a spiritual sea filled of honesty human emotion.

I'm writing a proposed article about Lily May for the Old-Time Herald. I'll be sharing part of her life with you. By sharing, she'll be making our lives better which is something she would have wanted.

I've also been painting the song "I Wish I was A Mole in the Ground." The painting is almost done. I've found out that Tempy or Tempey is the nickname for the unusual name Temperance. The first recording was done by a friend of Lily May's- Bascom Lamar Lunsford. Lunsford and John Lair, Lily's manager and employer for many many years helped organize several folk festivals which led to Lily May's Coon Creek Girls being invited to the White House.

It's funny how the circle is unbroken....

More on Lily May later,


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