Appalachian Music Fellowship 4

Berea College Appalachian Music Fellowship

Day 4, June 4, 2009

The very public narrative that Lily May Ledford told about herself hardly ever changed. She consistently told the same story about her life and career to interviewers. I’ve read it plenty since working in the archives. But the personal narrative that her friends and family tell is, as they say, a whole ‘nother story. Today I read interviews with Lily May’s daughter, granddaughter, an ex-husband, a brother-in-law, two musician friends, Mike Seeger, and Pete Seeger.

Pete Seeger tells of Lily May telling him that after the Coon Creek Girls’ White House appearance in 1939, Lily May passed around her banjo for guests and dignitaries to sign. She was insulted to get it back full of coins, like she was a street musician begging for money, I suppose.

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