Friday, March 17, 2017

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: March 17, 1917 - Lily May Ledford














Image from naturalbridgeredrivergorge.com



From The Kentucky Encyclopedia -
Lily May Ledford, musician, was born in Pilot, Kentucky, in the Red River Gorge area of Powell County on March 17, 1917. The seventh of fourteen children of Daw White and Stella May Ledford, Lily May grew up on a tenant farm. The Ledfords were musically gifted, and by the time Lily May was a teenager she was playing fiddle and banjo in a family band called the Red River Ramblers. In 1936 Ledford auditioned and was chosen to perform in Chicago on the WLS "National Barn Dance." The next year John Lair , Ledford's manager, assembled an all-female string band that featured her clawhammer banjo sound. The group, known as the Coon Creek Girls, included Ledford's sister Rose (guitar), "Daisy" Lange (bass), and "Violet" Koehler (mandolin). In 1939 Daisy and Violet left the band and were replaced by a third Ledford sister, Minnie, known as "Black-eyed Susie." The band was featured regularly for the next eighteen years on the "Renfro Valley Barn Dance" radio program; it disbanded in 1957. Following World War II Ledford married Glenn Pennington; they had three children: Barbara, James, and Robert. She died on July 14, 1985, in Lexington and was buried in the Berea Cemetery in Berea, Kentucky.
RON PEN, Entry Author

Selected Sources from UK Libraries:

Hull, Kenneth C. Lily May : A Legend in Our Time. New York: Carlton, 1975. Print. Hearthstone Book.
ML420.L44 H860, Special Collections Research Center

Appalshop, Inc. Lily May Ledford. Whitesburg, Ky.: Appalshop Films, 1988.
SV-V3399, Young Media Library

Ledford, Lily May. Coon Creek Girl. Reprint ed. Berea, Kentucky: Berea College Appalachian Center, 1991. Print.
B L4984co 1991, Special Collections Research Center - Biography Collection

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