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Folk Singer Rusty McNeil Dies At 81

RIVERSIDE (AP) — Rusty McNeil, who with her husband traveled the world interpreting American history through its folk songs, has died. She was 81.

Her son, David, tells the Riverside Press-Enterprise that McNeil died Dec. 15 at her Riverside home from complications of a stroke.

Rusty, whose real name was Joan, got her nickname from her red hair. She and her husband, Keith, were civil rights activists who in 1966 became full-time folk performers.

They and their five children toured the country for years in a converted school bus as they gave concerts and taught courses offering songs from the Civil War and other periods. Eventually they produced CDs and led tours and workshops in Europe, Japan and Zimbabwe.

McNeil is survived by her husband, children, and eight grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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