This out-of-print lp was the only recording of Betsy Rutherford, from Galax, Virginia. Raised in a musical family (her uncle was Fields Ward, see my post of this great musician), she kept singing the old songs she learned from her parents or from the Carter Family at a time when many young Virginians turned their back on the mountain traditions and the music was revived by urban students in the Northern states. Like Hazel Dickens, she sang country songs with a powerful and dignified voice, with a traditional instrumental back-up or a cappella on the beautiful Jean Ritchie song “The West Virginia Mine Disaster”. On “Amazing Grace”, she sings in the lining out fashion like in the Primitive Baptist churches and it’s one of my favorite recording of this famous hymn. She can be heard singing with the great Ola Belle Reed on a recent cd issued by Smithsonian Folkways called “Rising sun melodies” (on “I believe in the old-time way” and “I am the man Thomas”). Young appalachian singer Elizabeth LaPrelle cites Betsy Rutherford was one of her favorite singer and sang “Rain and Snow” on her first record.
1.Faded coat of blue
2.Rain and snow
4.The West Virginia mine disaster
5.Tramp on the street
6.Boys, be good to dear old dad
9.Will the circle be unbroken