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Ruth McLain Smith

Ruth McLain SmithMountain Music Ambassadors/Traditional Music History/Bass
Kentucky Center for Traditional Music

Contact Info:
185 East First Street Morehead, KY 40351
Phone: 606-783-9001
Office Hours: Tuesday and Thursday by appointment


Ruth McLain Smith has performed traditional music in some of the most prestigious concert halls, theaters, universities and music festivals in all fifty of the United States and internationally in more than 64 countries. Some of these notable venues include Carnegie Hall, The Lincoln Center, Chicago’s Orchestra Hall, Finlandia Hall and The Grand Ole Opry.
Ruth, with The McLain Family Band, toured extensively as soloist in over 230 appearances with orchestras, with leading pops conductors such as Erich Kunzel, Mitch Miller, Newton Wayland and Richard Hayman.  These orchestras include those of Cleveland, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Louisville, Oakland and Phoeniz as well as the National Symphony, the Houston Pops and the Calgary and Buffalo philharmonics.
Her performances on television include NBC – The Today Show, CBS – The Morning News, CMA Country Music Awards Show, The Johnny Cash Christmas Special, Hee Haw, ABC – Good Morning America, TNN – Crook & Chase, Music City Tonight, Nashville Now, Miscellaneous Appearances on the BBC, the CBC and various ETV specials including the PBS special, Pearl Bailey and Friends at Centre Stage and Jubilee, a internationally distributed production of producer, Russ Farmer and Kentucky Educational Television.
She has recorded extensively, with The McLain Family Band and as a guest on recordings by numerous artists including Homer Ledford, Michael Johnathon and Ramona Jones. Her compositions have been recorded by nationally recognized artists. Personal friendships and professional relationships with many of the most notable traditional musicians of her time, including among others, members of the Carter Family, Grandpa and Ramona Jones, Jean Richie, Bill Monroe, Ralph Stanley and Johnny Cash give her unique and invaluable perspective when teaching about Traditional Music history.