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Dellie Norton

Dellie Norton sang the aged, unaccompanied ballads and like songs passed on from her family members and other people of her Blue Ridge Hill community; in her very own 91 years, she helped pass on the tracks to younger years and gained nationwide recognition being a ballad vocalist. Her singing design featured intricate and spontaneous ornamentation, highlighted by vocal hiccups and elongated records; her repertoire consisted generally of British and Scottish ballads like “THE HOME Carpenter” and “The Silk Merchant’s Daughter.” Though she actually is best remembered on her behalf singing, her extended life embraced many areas of traditional hill living, producing her a popular among folklorists. Not just a vocalist, she was a banjo participant, a quilter, a weaver, and an organic healer. Norton was created in North Carolina’s Madison Region, an area famous for its vocal and instrumental history. Her own prolonged family members included the Wallins (Berzilla, Doug, and Jack port), the Chandlers (Lloyd and Dillard), and fiddler Byard Ray, most of whom had been acclaimed performers of traditional music. In 1917 and 1919, English folklorist Cecil Clear combed the spot because of its retention of historic ballads and released the leads to his British Folksongs from the Southern Appalachians; within an often-quoted passing, he proclaimed performing as common as speaking in Madison Region. A young female, Dellie Norton wanted to sing for Clear, but he was interested in the elders of the city. Within the a long time, however, Norton will be very much visited and well known by scholars (however, not, ironically, until she herself was an elder). She was documented in the 1960s by John Cohen, who included three of her shows on his Large Atmosphere anthology; she also shows up in Cohen’s film THE FINISH of a vintage Track. In her old age, Norton performed sometimes at festivals, like the Smithsonian Folklife Event in Washington, D.C., with the 1982 World’s Good in Knoxville, TN; in 1990 she was the receiver of a NEW YORK Heritage Prize. She passed away on Oct 3, 1993, in just a mile of her birthplace.

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