Sad News -- RIP Ralph Lee Smith

Robin Thompson
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
11 months ago
1,230 posts

Someone on fb shared this writing from Ralph and it seems appropriate to include it here: 

https://bulletin.swarthmore.edu/bulletin-issue-archive/archive_p=1060.html?fbclid=IwAR3bzp1m1H6S6JynCk0dGCauS2hdYNdCzLPqsfOxzGAl78Y5OCNSA34WAew


updated by @robin-thompson: 12/31/20 03:06:14PM
Robin Thompson
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
11 months ago
1,230 posts

Ralph Lee Smith has given the mountain dulcimer world so much!  Like Ken H, I would like to have met both Jean Ritchie and Ralph yet both have now joined the ancestors.  

Bob Reinsel
Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
11 months ago
79 posts

Ralph contributed much to our understanding of dulcimers, where they came from, and how they evolved.  For anyone interested in solid scholarship his books are worth reading.  I met him once. He was a kind person who was generous in sharing his collection of instruments as well as his knowledge.




--
Bob
Site Moderator

The greatest music is made for love, not for money -- Greg Lake
Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
11 months ago
1,868 posts

R.I.P. Ralph.   
My greatest regrets as a dulcimer person are that I never had the chance to meet and know Ralph and Jean Ritchie.


updated by @ken-hulme: 12/31/20 06:52:49AM
Jan Potts
Jan Potts
@jan-potts
11 months ago
408 posts

I feel fortunate to have met Ralph Lee Smith several times, most notably at Dulcimer U at Western Carolina University.  What a kind, knowledgeable man!  He was able to impart his knowledge about the mountain dulcimer in a way that communicated how pleased he was to answer your question or help you understand something better.  He was never arrogant about what he knew--or how much,  He just enjoyed sharing what he knew with others--and we were all richly blessed.  Rest in peace, dear man.




--
Jan Potts, Lexington, KY
Site Moderator

"Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best." Henry Van Dyke
John C. Knopf
John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
11 months ago
285 posts

We all knew this day was coming, but we didn't know WHEN.  It's still very sad for us who knew Ralph, and sad for the dulcimer world at large.  He left a great quantity of scholarly work behind, which will instruct and entertain musicians and luthiers for many years.  Rest in peace, dear friend.

Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
11 months ago
2,001 posts

Thank you Ken. It's a deep loss for the dulcimer world. Ralph Lee Smith has given us all so much.




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
11 months ago
1,485 posts

Sad news indeed. Ralph's knowledge of the evolution of the dulcimer far surpassed that of any else living or dead.  We will be forever in his debt for his publications on dulcimer history.




--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie
Ken Longfield
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
11 months ago
806 posts

It is with a great deal of sadness that I share the news that Ralph Lee Smith died this morning, December 30, 2020, at his home in Virginia. He was 93 years old. I will share more when I have collected myself. R.I.P. Ralph.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."