It’s kinda funny that leaving my house is often an automatic prompt to put my ‘Shroom or Dulcimer pendants in my mouth. I don’t even think about it anymore. Sometimes I forget so much that I don’t realize a chewy is in my mouth until I go to talk, eat or drink.
People pause and look twice at me. I don’t mind it. Sometimes I wonder if they recognize what I’m chewing on or are thinking ‘hey, I saw that online!’
The Appalachian or Mountain Dulcimer is the core instrument of Appalachia. Its origins date back to the late 1800s, but the instrument gained most of its popularity in the 1950s folk revival through the playing of Jean Ritchie of Viper, Kentucky (pictured top).
Second, Jean Schilling, well-known Dulcimer player and producer of the first Dulcimer festival, The Cosby Dulcimer Convention, in Cosby Tennessee.
Third, Elaine Irwin Meter with “the most beautiful dulcimer ever viewed.”
Fourth, George Allen Johnson (front), dulcimer maker and player.
Fifth, Mrs. Carrico with the family dulcimer (that has no fingerboard).
Last, Earl Mullins playing his mother Dora’s dulcimer with a mule-tail bow.
“They went into their country of Benoye, and lived there in great joy.”
Watercolor on paper.
21.5 x 29 cm (8 ½ x 11 ½ in.)
Illustrated by William Russell Flint for Thomas Malory’s “Le Morte d'Arthur”,
London, Philip Lee Warner for The Medici Society.
I found this old gem at an antique store in Midway, KY. The owner wouldn’t sell it unless someone were to have it properly restored. Hearing him say that meant a lot because these old dulcimers can end up in the trash very easily, especially something in this condition. Thanks to his concern for the instrument’s history and condition, it will live on for another lifetime. This is dulcimer #60 by the Hindman, KY builder Jethro Amburgey and it is dated 1935. It is one of his oldest surviving dulcimers, the oldest known being from 1929. The third picture is #60 pictured alongside #869, built 32 years later in 1967.