Yes I have that book too Stephen- it's a great book with lots of descriptive background.
Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Here’s what I could find on the internet with a quick search. The links below all seem to point to the same Starr Mitchell you see on the Almeda Riddle You-Tube Video. You may have to copy and paste these links into your browser to get them to work.
A1997 letter to the editor of Dulcimer Players Newsletter :
A 2001 CD titled Arkansas Original , Tune # 6 “Lark in the Morning” with Starr Mitchell Playing Hammered dulcimer
Starr Mitchell’s Linked-In Page. She’s the Education Director of the Historic Arkansas Museum.
Starr Mitchell’s Facebook Page.
You're right, Ken, I would've loved it! She seems to have been one of those people was was just herself, no pretense. (Almeda's telling of how her little sister's death effected her was most moving.) Her singing cut through to the bone in a good way.
I got to public wi-fi and watched this today-- and I'm so glad I was able to do so! Some of the stylistic features of Mrs Riddle's singing were common in small "holiness" and rural churches, I think, even in my childhood years of the '60's. And there were handkerchief wavers there, too. :)
Almeda was a total hoot as a person. A great sense of humour. You would have really enjoyed spending time with her and of course her singing was wonderful. She always held the end of a handkerchef in her hand and waved it back and forth as she sang. It all transported you to another place. I pictured scenes described by Sharpe and Karples while she sang. It was a wonderful experience.
Ken, you lucky fellow! Many are the hours I have listened to Almeda's wonderful recordings. The more one listens, the more rich and skilled her singing sounds. So lucky we have them for others in the future! I wish there had been recordings of her singing when she was say in her 40s- what a marvel!
Thank you everyone. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I sure did, but my roots are in that area, so I'm prejudiced, I'm sure. Sean, I'm not on facebook so I can't contact her through that. I was interested because she (in the little bit she played) seemed like a very good player on what looks like a Bonnie Carol dulcimer.
Found this film of Granny Riddle with Starr Mitchell playing dulcimer with her. I'm sure I'm prejudiced, but Almeda represents the best of the ballad singer tradition in the US.
Anyone know anything about Starr Mitchell today?