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Folk Hymns: The Cane Ridge Legacy

There is one genre of traditional music in America which, more than any other, is both widespread and healthy in the 1970's. That genre is folk hymnody. The cradle of the American folk hymn was Kentucky, which at the start of the nineteenth century witnessed a truly remarkable phenomenon we now call the Great Revival in the West. In 1800 and for a few years thereafter the western settlements experienced a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit, religious enthusiasm, or group hysteria--as various reporters have described it. A combination of factors including sparseness of population, difficulty of travel, and a dearth of large buildings called

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