Here I am in 1987,
the year Anne MacFie, solo,
began to emerge.

Photos by Ron Garrison

1966 My first professional folksinging gig was at Hal's Steak House in Portales, NM, my hometown. The partner was John Coinman, a fellow student at Eastern New Mexico University. Those trademark shiners were done with artist's charcoal - cool, huh?
  That was also the year of my impetuous first marriage. The bridegroom was Dick Albin, grad student from Fayetteville, AR. That's my dad in the Buddy Holly specs; the rest of the wedding party, L to R, were Don Harper, Marlene Foster, George Spach and the late Jack Wayne. The minister (whose name escapes me) didn't want to be the shortest person in the picture.
Dick and I had migrated to Louisville, KY, when we kicked free of college life and hit the road with a folksong and storytelling act. We worked the U.S. campus concert/coffeehouse scene, playing for peanuts, traveling any distance  and we had a lotta fun.
1971 We got into folk festivals and mountain dulcimers. Dick made the first dulcimers we used onstage.
1973   We cut our first album, Mahatma Gandhi Spat Here, at Fultz Recording Studio in Fairdale, KY. The title came from a line in our most-requested song of the day, "Uncle Watt's Original Fatascinatin' Roadside Stand."
1975   A musical we wrote went on the boards. Anne and Dick Albin's Old Testament Revue, based on "stories in the scriptures you won't see in pictures and you won't learn in Sunday school," premiered at Southwest Missouri State University, and a second production was mounted at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. Dick is seen here as "Solomon the King." I'm the harem babe in green.
    In the summer we began a long association with the Kentucky State Parks, presenting concerts and special events.
1976 The first of these, MOUNTAIN MEMORIES WEEKEND, began at Carter Caves State Park in Olive Hill. This now-discontinued mountain music festival brought a lot of old friends together every March for almost 30 years. Here, Becky Allender, Cari Norris, Sue Massek and I, costumed as the original Coon Creek Girls, were performing a set of their barn dance favorites.
    Pine Mountain State Park's GREAT AMERICAN DULCIMER CONVENTION was one of the country's first dulcimer festivals. I continue to host the Convention the last week of September.
1978   Dick and I did the "back to the earth" thing, homesteading in Powell County, KY. Woodstove heat, kerosene lamps, no electric power or running water made for a lifestyle that was  grueling! It took us 30 months to build a house, simultaneously keeping up a performance schedule.
1980 Then came the FIRST INTERNATIONAL STRANGE MUSIC WEEKEND, also at Carter Caves. Over the years our Strange Ensemble developed into the group pictured here: Park Naturalist John Tierney with snoot floot and commodobro; Nancy Johnson with the jawbone of an ass; Blake Barker;  Anne MacFie with rakalimba;  Dick Albin; Steve Lyon with rubber chicken. The unequaled event ocurred off and on until we'd done every strange thing we could come up with and retired the show in 2000.

Our first overseas travel as Dept. of Defense entertainers. To beef up our sound and spread the grunt work thinner we formed a temporary trio, the Trans-Mason-Dixon Interplanetary Pickers. Jay Round was in the version shown here. Our unit toured military bases in northern Europe and the Mediterranean.
1988   Dick and Anne Albin became Dick "Richard" Albin and Anne MacFie, each of us launching solo careers. I kicked mine off with a tour of England and Wales and brought Gentle Annie, my first solo album. (The Gentle Annie costume and character originated in the Strange Music show.)


Over these years I did three more tours to the British Isles, performed in Ireland and Denmark and made another album, Spandex Folkie. Here I am in a Surrey pub, absorbing the rich traditions of England with a couple of charming locals.
1994   Then came England to me. Dang if one of those lads didn't follow me home and marry me! Here's a honeymoon picture of Young Paul Elsey and me in the Midi-Pyranees, France.
1996   Guess the next time I did anything other than drive, sing and write songs was to put out a UFO newsletter, The Bluegrass Bulletin, with a Louisville guy, Jerry Washington. (Certainly, I believe in UFOs   anyone who doesn't hasn't been paying attention for the last sixty years!) We got burnt-out on that after three years, but until Jerry's untimely death in 2005, we wrote screenplays together.
2001   A long-time pal from my one season as a summer stock actress, Janis Duley, phoned up with the novel idea that she and I should form a part-time duo. So we became the Twa Sisters and made our debut at the GADC.
2002   In the spring, we recorded our first album, Twain, at the Dancing Thumb Studio in Springfield, MO.
2003   And then we took the South of England, if not by storm, by a mighty stiff breeze. That's us in action at Weymouth Folk Festival.
2004 About a year after this photo was snapped of Young Paul and me at home, pickin' on the porch, that precious spirit lost his life to cancer. I miss his banjo ringing and I miss him. A Glass to Young Paul commemorates our fourteen years together.
I softened the shock of turning 60 by giving a concert in Louisville for the Kentucky Homefront radio program.  In the audience were so many friends from all down through the years, and more joined me onstage - John Gage, Col. Bob Thompson, Dick "Richard" Albin, Janis Duley,  Neville Pohl and John McCormick.  It was the best birthday of my life! 
2008   That's my life so far  comedy and tragedy in the service of the Muse of Song. I'm still writing songs and filmscripts, still performing, still driving a mile for every buck I earn folksinging and eating that "cold pizza for breakfast in a motel room."

I still love the life.


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Mail: Anne MacFie, PO Box 271, Stanton, KY 40380