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Addie Graham




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Addie Prater Graham(born1900 - died April 1, 1978 Cynthianolyano, Harrison County, KY)
Born in 1900 in the mountains of western Kentucky, Addie Prater Graham was a masterful traditional singer whose life and repertoire reflect both deep tradition and an era of social change in the Appalachian Mountains. She sang ballads which trace back to the British Isles, others composed in America, frolic songs and ditties, and religious songs in the Old Regular Baptist tradition. While the Old Baptist belief of her parents forbade the use of musical instruments, she became an accomplished singer in the complex, highly ornamented style of Kentucky’s oral tradition.
Addie’s repertoire included several extremely common songs, including “We’re Stole and Sold From Africa,” an anti-slavery song which seems to have originated in the antebellum Abolitionist movement. She also sang a number of songs of African American origin, many of which she learned from black railroad builders.

Addie’s grandson Rich Kirby and folklorist Barbara (Edwards) Kunkle produced an LP of her singing, released in 1978 on Appalshop’s June Appal record label. Since then her music has been recorded by Mike Seeger, Alice Gerrard, Ginny Hawker, and John McCutcheon, and others. In 2008 Been A Long Time Traveling was remastered as a CD with eight additional songs.
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