Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Here we see Orna & Estil C. Ball, most likely at home, enduring a flashbulb photograph. Estil Cortez Ball (1913-1978) was first recorded by John Lomax in 1937 for The Library of Congress. JL's son Alan Lomax would record Ball and others in 1941 and 1959, and this would encourage many folk and bluegrass musicians to follow suit, see John Cohen and Mike Seeger. EC Ball had a prolific songbook of hymns, country gospel, ballads, blues, instrumentals, and comic songs. His day job would find him working in a service station or driving a school bus and he grandly looked the part. With his wife Orna, Ball was the unquestionable interpreter of the white folk spiritual. He was raised and buried in Rugby, Grayson County, Virginia.