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date: 17 October 2019

Rinzler, Ralph locked

  • Jeff Place

Extract

(b Passaic, NJ, July 20, 1934; d Washington, DC, July 2, 1994). American Musician, promoter, record producer, author, folklorist, and museum administrator. He grew up in Passaic, New Jersey, and it was at Swarthmore College that he was first exposed to folk music. He became one of the most important individuals behind the scenes during the folksong revival of the late 1950s. Rinzler performed on many instruments but was mainly associated with the mandolin. He was a onetime member of the urban bluegrass group the Greenbriar Boys.

Rinzler decided he would rather spend his time promoting the music of others than performing himself. He studied with Alan Lomax in England. Rinzler was appointed the chief talent scout for the Newport Folk Festival and was the person responsible for bringing traditional musicians such as Clarence Ashley, John Hurt, Maybelle Carter, and others to the festival. His fieldwork for the festival led to the rediscovery of Ashley and, in turn, the discovery of guitarist Doc Watson. He later managed Watson and Bill Monroe, organizing shows nationwide....

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