Growing up in the Tennessee Mountains, Homer Ledford began making musical instruments at an early age. He was given a rehabilitation scholarship to attend the John C. Campbell Folk School in NC where he made his first dulcimer while recuperating from rheumatic fever.
Homer attended Berea College and earned a BS from Eastern Kentucky University. He taught industrial arts in Kentucky for 10 years before becoming a full-time instrument maker. Homer has been hand crafting Appalachian dulcimers, Kentucky’s official state instrument, since 1946. Having made over 5700 dulcimers, he is internationally known, and his “dulcitar” (an instrument he invented) is included in the Smithsonian Institution’s collection.
Mr. Ledford was also the leader and organizer of the Cabin Creek Band, with which he usually played mandolin but also played guitar, fiddle, autoharp, and dulcimer. Cabin Creek has a number of recordings including “Mountain Memories,” “We Missed You at Church Last Sunday,” and “Cutting the Grass.” Homer’s autobiographical book See ‘ya Further Up the Creek was released in 2004 and includes a CD of his performances.
Mr. Ledford also hand carved jewelry featuring leaf, bird, and flower designs.
Mr. Ledford’s work can be found at Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea.