Richard Burnett

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The old-timey folksinger Richard Burnett hailed from Monticello, Kentucky. Born in 1883, he was blinded in a robbery attempt in 1907, and became a professional singer and banjo player soon afterward.…
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The old-timey folksinger Richard Burnett hailed from Monticello, Kentucky. Born in 1883, he was blinded in a robbery attempt in 1907, and became a professional singer and banjo player soon afterward. His ballad titled "Farewell Song" was later adapted into the folk standard "A Man of Constant Sorrow." Fiddler Leonard Rutherford began accompanying Burnett in the mid-1910s, and the duo recorded many sides for Columbia during the '20s (usually as Burnett and Rutherford). One of these, "Willie Moore," was compiled onto Harry Smith's 1952 folksong collection Anthology of American Folk Music. Burnett drifted out of professional music during the Depression Era, and made chairs in Monticello well into the '70s.