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Donna Ray Norton – "Fine Sally"

Donna Ray Norton, is an eight-generation ballad singer from Asheville, North Carolina, is a true embodiment of the rich Appalachian musical tradition. Her grandfather, the venerable Byard Ray, was an acclaimed old-time fiddler and banjo player from Madison County. Donna's formative years were steeped in the musical traditions of her forebears. Growing up, she imbibed a wealth of songs and stories from her parents and relatives, which sparked her innate passion for singing. As a high school student at Asheville High, Donna's zeal for sharing her personal narrative manifested in a project where she chose to showcase her family’s tradition of making song. It was during this time that she discovered the intricate connections between her family's history and the region's rich cultural tapestry. Today, Donna Ray Norton is a much sought-after performer whose enchanting renditions have garnered widespread acclaim. Her latest offering, Forevermore I will Sing, produced by acclaimed folk musician Josh Goforth, has further cemented her status as a celebrated exponent of the Appalachian balladry tradition. Donna's contributions to the genre have also been featured in the documentary "Madison County Project," which was conferred the coveted Audience Choice Award at the 2005 Asheville Film Festival., which can be viewed at