Birgit Ridderstedt

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Birgit Ridderstedt
Birgit Ridderstedt 1959.jpg
Her regional folk costume from Stora Tuna in the Dales Province (Dalecarlia) was Birgit Ridderstedt's usual performing wardrobe. Photo: FamSAC.
Background information
Birth nameRagnhild Birgit Anderson
Also known asBebe or Bibbi Ridderstedt
Born(1914-11-26)November 26, 1914
OriginSweden
DiedSeptember 16, 1985(1985-09-16) (aged 70)
GenresSinger and producer
Years active1936–1973
Ridderstedt at her gift shop "Scandinavia in Batavia" in 1957.

Birgit Ridderstedt (November 26, 1914 – September 16, 1985) was a Swedish-American folk singer[1] who appeared at festivals and on television in the 1950s and early 1960s with material she produced herself.

Background[edit]

Born in Ludvika, Sweden, a daughter of Stefan Anderson and Ragnhild Fredrika Sandberg, she emigrated with her husband C. Erik Ridderstedt and their two small sons to the United States in 1950, settling in Chicago and later in Batavia, Illinois.

Career[edit]

Ridderstedt gave presentations on Scandinavian music and folklore on WTTW[2] and WGN television in Chicago in the 1950s and early 1960s. She began by assisting her husband's business as an importer of gift items and handcrafted artwork from Sweden.[3][4] She appeared on public service and commercial television[5] in Chicago. On Polka Go-Round she featured young children singing Swedish songs and high school youths folk dancing.[6] When after 12 years Ridderstedt left Illinois, a total of 45 young people had been with her on some ten TV programs about such Scandinavian celebrations as Midsummer, Lucy Day and Passion Plays; she had also performed four times with her groups in the annual Swedish Days festivities of Geneva, Illinois, and had appeared with orations and songs for various organizations.[7]

Ridderstedt organized entertainment for festivals and parades in the Fox Valley (Illinois), and also opened her own gift shop.[8] Ridderstedt returned to Sweden in 1962 with her family, but was also active in western Florida in the 1970s with her folk song programs.

The Ridderstedt couple lived in the Stockholm suburb of Täby after they retired; her husband died in 1982. They are buried in Stora Tuna Churchyard.

Songs[edit]

Ridderstedt wrote several songs of her own in the early 1950s, which have been registered with STIM.[9]

References and Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Dagens Nyheter (Stockholm), Sept. 27, 1985 p. 45
  2. ^ Sammi King in Daily Herald: Keeping Swedish traditions alive 2013-12-20
  3. ^ Expressen (Stockholm), July 19, 1953 p. 3
  4. ^ (18 December 1955) "Swedish Vase Will Be Placed in Boys Town" Chicago Sunday Tribune sect. 3 p. 7
  5. ^ TV Guide, June 6, 1959 p. A-38
  6. ^ Aurora Beacon News (Illinois), Dec. 31, 1960
  7. ^ Aurora Beacon News (Illinois) 2 juli 1961
  8. ^ Chicago Tribune, Oct. 10, 1985 p. 4-14
  9. ^ List at Stim (log-in required)