Rich Valley, Smyth County, Virginia, United States
1967 (aged 73)
Texas Gladden (1895-1967) was an American folk singer born in Saltville, Virginia. She was best known for her traditional Appalachian ballad style of singing, which she began to record in the 1930's. In 1941, along with her brother, musician Hobart Smith, she began to record with pioneer folk archivist and musicologist Alan Lomax. The largest collection of her work, which includes 37 tracks of songs and interviews is compiled on the album Texas Gladden: Ballad Legacy which Lomax produced as part of his Southern Journey series. This album contains traditional ballads of Anglo-Saxon/Celtic origin, such as Barbara Allen, Mary Hamilton, and Lord Thomas as well as regional songs and even a Civil War-era ghost story. She did not enjoy much fame during her life and has remained a relatively obscure artist. Her work did experience a resurgence in popularity during the 1960's as she was rediscovered by Joan Baez, and more recently through harpist Joanna Newsom's cover of the traditional Appalachian style song Three Little Babes.
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