Ralph Lee Smith


Location: Reston, VA
Country: US

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Stephen Addison Mark Runge Kevin Messenger Patricia Delich John C. Knopf Larry Conger John Henry


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Ralph Lee Smith

Charles N.Prichard Dulcimer Being Played

I have been absent from FOMD for awhile, while I worked on a book with...
@Ralph Lee Smith 8 years ago - Comments: 22

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07/30/13 08:00:29PM @greg-gunner:


I forgot to leave the link to the Matteson You-tube recordings of the Nathan Hicks dulcimer, so here you go.

In 1933 Maurice Matteson and Mellinger Henry collected ballads on Beech Mountain in Watauga County, North Carolina. This was five years earlier than the Warners. Matteson took his son along when he visited with the Hicks family at the home of Nathan and Rena Hicks. Nathan contributed a number of ballads and popular songs to the Matteson-Henry collection. Maurice Matteson also bought one of the mountain dulcimers made by Nathan Hicks during one of his visits. It was this dulcimer that prompted Frank and Anne Warner to order a dulcimer from Nathan. Subsequently, the Warners became good friends with Nathan and Rena Hicks and their son-in-law, Frank Proffitt. Most of this has been documented in the excellent books by Ralph Lee Smith. But what ever happened to the Nathan Hicks dulcimer that Maurice Matteson purchased in the 1930's?

As it turns out, the dulcimer is now owned by Richard Matteson, the grandson of Maurice Matteson. The younger Matteson has produced some You-Tube sound recordings of a number of songs. Unfortunately, there are no videos showing the Hicks dulcimer. However, among the You-tube audio performances there are several performed on the Nathan Hicks dulcimer. Matteson performs with his niece and nephew. If you click on the link below you can hear the Nathan Hicks dulcimer in the background. Scroll down and read the descriptions. Only a handful of the recordings feature Nathan's dulcimer, but you can easily determine which ones by reading the descriptions provided. You'll have to tune out his niece's singing voice and his nephew's fiddle playing, but the dulcimer is clearly there. I wish he had posted videos and left out the singing and fiddling, but at least we get to hear one of the Nathan Hicks dulcimers played, an quite a historic dulcimer. The first song to feature Nathan's dulcimer is #61. There are a few more after that so keep scrolling.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=U ... CAqZJujq1w

Greg Gunner "Banjimer"

07/30/13 07:59:13PM @greg-gunner:

Richard Matteson, the grandson of Maurice Matteson, has some You-tube audios up where he is playing the Nathan Hicks dulcimer that his grandfather purchased in the 1930's. It is the same dulcimer that inspired the Warners to order one of Nathan's dulcimers. If you click on the link below and scroll down to #61 and then continue from there you can hear several songs played on the Nathan Hicks dulcimer. Unfortunately his niece is singing and his nephew is playing the fiddle, but the dulcimer can be heard fairly clearly in the background. I wasn't sure if you knew whether or not the dulcimer existed, but it remains in the Matteson family in the hands of Richard Matteson, who has produced a couple of music books for Mel-Bay. I hope all is well and my e-mail finds you healthy.

Greg Gunner

Riga, Michigan

Wayne Jiang
06/16/12 01:02:38PM @wayne-jiang:

Thanks Ralph, having dulcimers around definitely enriches our lives. Thanks to your book we have stories tell when visitors to house point to the Presnell dulcimer on the wall and ask "what is that?"

Patricia Delich
06/16/12 08:21:05AM @patricia-delich:

Likewise! Smile.gif

Jack Ferguson
06/05/12 09:27:36PM @jack-ferguson:


It was a pleasure meeting you at the Crooked Road Festival, and a real honor sitting in on a number of your sessions. Your experience, and style of play, really added to the overallworkshop experience. Thank you for helping make thisfestival an event to remember.Smile.gif

Benjamin W Barr Jr
03/19/12 09:34:33PM @benjamin-w-barr-jr:
HI Ralph, and welcome to the wonderful world of the Friends of the Mountain Dulcimer. As I suspect you already know, that this is a good place to spend some time, exchange ideas about the dulcimer and to meet some good people. Wow! Am I ever humbled to be in the presence of the Real McCoy, Ralph Lee Smith.Ben
03/19/12 08:42:13PM @strumelia:

Welcome back Ralph!