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Fiona Ritchie & Doug Orr Explore Appalachia's Musical Lineage in 'Wayfaring Strangers'

Fiona Ritchie
University of North Carolina Press

On West Virginia Morning, Beth Vorhees has a special interview with Fiona Ritchie, the host of the popular NPR music program “The Thistle and Shamrock.”  Ritchie, along with co-author Doug Orr, has just published a book about the music migration from Scotland and Ireland to Appalachia.

Interview Highlights:

Fiona Ritchie:

"We needed to write this book.  It really is the outcome of decades of conversations between myself and my co-author Doug Orr which basically mirrored our own discoveries in the music."

"I had moved from Scotland over to North Carolina.  Very quickly realized that I was in the  heartland of some fantastic music.  Also realizing very quickly that it connected to music from where I was from so I went on my own personnel journey of discovery to find out what this connection was all about."

Doug Orr:

"We need to remember in the music migration that this was the oral tradition carried on from generation to generation from family to family.  So a family might have been sitting on the front porch in the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia trying to recall the words. Adding some words themselves.  This was the organic process."