Homer Ledford, Bob Mize, Larry Barringer, etc.

Ken Longfield
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
3 weeks ago
655 posts

Marg, I've seen explanations for the differing directions of the hearts, but darned if I can remember them. Most of the early dulcimers had the hearts with the bottom pointing to the left. One theory for the change is that they looked better hanging on a wall with the hearts pointing down.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

marg
@marg
3 weeks ago
561 posts

Ken, That is so special. Why do you think Thomas did his hearts up-side down or are they up-side down now?        I think I had seen some of the photos from the Berea gathering, not sure if it was the first.

Ken Longfield
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
3 weeks ago
655 posts

Marg, I certainly do. This photo was taken by John Huron shortly after he finished restoring the dulcimer. Somewhere I have a video of Joe Collins playing it. I'll see if I can find it. There are photos of it from the first Berea gathering as well.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

image.jpeg
image.jpeg  •  132KB

marg
@marg
3 weeks ago
561 posts

Ken,

it says, Thomas stopped making dulcimers 2 years before his death, so that is right at your date. Do you have a photo of this special dulcimer? 

Ken Longfield
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
3 weeks ago
655 posts

Nina, the 1,500 number is not absolute. It is based on a guess that he made some dulcimers before he started numbering them. I'm not saying that I have the last one that he made, but a higher number has not surfaced yet. Thomas was helpful in moving the mountain dulcimer out of the mountains. Women who worked at the settlement schools purchased instruments and gave them to friends and/or relatives in New England. It is reported that he sent one to Eleanor Roosevelt and the King of England. I'm not sure that either of those reports has been verified.

Don Grundy
Don Grundy
@don-grundy
3 weeks ago
135 posts
Bravo! The history of the mountain dulcimer is important to savor. It’s early musicians were isolated, many were magnificent musicians but didn’t read or write. Thank you!
marg
@marg
3 weeks ago
561 posts

ken,

 

Right, I see Thomas died in 1933. I took the article as what they knew  (thus far recovered) 

 

    It looks as if there were more instruments Mr. Thomas made but stopping before he died (Mr. Thomas made more than 1,500 instruments through his career until two years before his death in 1933).  You are very fortune to have such a special piece of history and one of Ed Thomas last dulcimers before his stopping. His spirit lives on.

 

Nina,

 

Isn't dulcimer people wonderful, our members here, fellow dulcimer people we meet - even Dulcimer Legends like Homer Ledford. What a special memory you have of a special meeting.


updated by @marg: 02/02/20 12:39:35PM
Don Grundy
Don Grundy
@don-grundy
4 weeks ago
135 posts
I love the modesty of icons in small communities.
Don Grundy
Don Grundy
@don-grundy
4 weeks ago
135 posts
dulcinina:

In 1987 my husband had a dulcimer made for me by a local woodworker and industrial arts teacher who made dulcimers as a hobby..  I knew nothing about the dulcimer except I wanted to learn to play.  A woman from my church also had a dulcimer but neither of us has cases for our instruments.  She contacted Homer Ledford and he got us cases for our dulcimers.  We went to his home and spent a Sunday afternoon with him.  We couldn't play worth a darn but he was so gracious.  He explained things to us and showed us his workshop.  I had no idea how important he was in the dulcimer world.  I saw him many times playing at art festivals in Berea, KY.  Meeting him is one of my fondest memories.  Nina

dulcinina
@dulcinina
4 weeks ago
66 posts

In 1987 my husband had a dulcimer made for me by a local woodworker and industrial arts teacher who made dulcimers as a hobby..  I knew nothing about the dulcimer except I wanted to learn to play.  A woman from my church also had a dulcimer but neither of us has cases for our instruments.  She contacted Homer Ledford and he got us cases for our dulcimers.  We went to his home and spent a Sunday afternoon with him.  We couldn't play worth a darn but he was so gracious.  He explained things to us and showed us his workshop.  I had no idea how important he was in the dulcimer world.  I saw him many times playing at art festivals in Berea, KY.  Meeting him is one of my fondest memories.  Nina

Ken Longfield
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
4 weeks ago
655 posts

Marg, some information needs to be updated. I own a J.E. Thomas dulcimer, #1465 dated February,1931.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

marg
@marg
4 weeks ago
561 posts

ken

What a wonderful moment and now memory

 

Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
4 weeks ago
1,697 posts

I worked in Frankfort, Kentucky for about 6 months, back in 2000.  Met Homer at one of the craft fairs and got chatting and playing together.  Awhile later I went down to Winchester to hear him and The Cabin Creek Band play.  At the intermission he came over and invited me to sit in with them and play a little.  One of the great moments of my dulcimer-life.

marg
@marg
4 weeks ago
561 posts

I was looking up some history on some of the premier dulcimer makers (traditional Ky style dulcimers) and was wondering if anyone had stories to tell of someone they have meet, in their shop or at a Festival?

Warren May was good friends with Hormer Ledford and thinking some of our FOTMD members would have been around playing when some of these excellent craftsmen like Hormer, when they  were still around.     Share your stories.

Attached is the results of some info, I found looking up these masters (note: no quotes but taken from the online sites with their history) just passing on what I found  -  hope you find it interesting.

 


updated by @marg: 01/31/20 11:41:22AM