Season 2 of Been All Around This World

September 9, 2019 | by

In the Fall of 1959, Alan Lomax -- assisted by the English folksinger Shirley Collins -- undertook a two-and-a-half month field-recording trip throughout the American South. With state-of-the-art stereo microphones and tape machine, furnished by their sponsors Atlantic Records, the pair traveled through Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Georgia, and North Carolina, making over 70 hours of recordings of fiddle tunes, banjo breakdowns, fife-and-drum marches, blues, unaccompanied ballads, penitentiary work songs and field hollers, and congregational singing from raucous Pentecostal Holiness churches to the mournful "lined-out" hymns of the Central Appalachians. Along the way, they made the first recordings of such icons as "Mississippi" Fred McDowell and Bessie Jones.

This trip came to be known as the "Southern Journey," and we're devoting our second season of our Been All Around This World podcast to commemorating it on the occasion of its 60th anniversary. The first episode is available now.