Old Ned

Arizona Historymakers™

Arizona Historical Society

Dolan Ellis

1935 -

Honored as Historymaker 2023

State Balladeer for over 55 Years, History Preservationist

Oral History Transcript:

Video by Carey Pena of Inspired Media 360, for the Historical League; videographer Leonardo Buono.

Dolan Ellis has penned more than 300 songs and ballads about Arizona, its history, and its people, earning him the honor of "Arizona's Official State Balladeer" for more than 55 years. His 12-string guitar and rich baritone voice led him to be an original member of the nationally famous '60's folk singing group "The New Christy Minstrels." While with the group, they earned gold records and a grammy award. But Dolan was drawn back home by his love of Arizona and its natural beauties, and has extensively covered the state in his famous Jeeps, on foot, by horseback and in the air. His desire to gather and preserve songs and stories of Arizona prompted him to establish the "Arizona Folklore Preserve" in Southern Arizona's Ramsey Canyon, where Arizona's songs and stories have been presented and preserved for over 25 years. Dolan Ellis has been awarded many honors for his work as a singer/songwriter and as a preservationist of Arizona's heritage. He personifies these wonderful historical aspects of Arizona.