Library of Congress Unites Work of Alan Lomax
“Legendary Folklorist Recorded Music and Stories of the World”
NPR, All Things Considered, March 24, 2004
The Library of Congress unveiled today its latest acquisition: the original papers and works of legendary folklorist Alan Lomax. The collections had been housed at a college in New York. Now — as NPR’s Felix Contreras reports — and are now united in Washington, D.C. with the work Lomax did with his father for the library in the 1930s and ‘40s.
After the Day of Infamy: “Man-on-the-Street” Interviews
Approximately twelve hours of opinions recorded in the days and months following the bombing of Pearl Harbor from more than two hundred individuals across the United States. On December 8, 1941 (the day after the attack), Alan Lomax, then Assistant in Charge of the Archive of American Folk Song (now the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress), sent a telegram to fieldworkers in ten different localities across the United States, asking them to record live “man-on-the-street” reactions of ordinary Americans to the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the declaration of war by the United States. A second series of interviews, called “Dear Mr. President,” was recorded in January and February 1942. American Radioworks also produced a program about the project.
The John and Ruby Lomax 1939 Southern States Recording Trip
A multi-format ethnographic field collection that includes nearly 700 sound recordings, as well as field notes, dust jackets, and other manuscripts documenting a three-month, 6,502-mile trip through the Southern United States.
A year after his passing, American Routes remembers Alan Lomax. The playlist included some of Lomax’s groundbreaking recordings for the Library of Congress with Lead Belly, Woody Guthrie, and Jelly Roll Morton, as well as rural Afro-French Louisiana chants, songs of Texas prisoners, children’s games from Trinidad, and old-time country music from Virginia. Lomax’s voice is heard as host of programs for the Mutual Radio Network in the forties, and in a 1990 interview with Nick Spitzer. The second hour of the program focuses on the music of the folk revival and beyond, presenting a casual conversation with Pete Seeger. The program concludes with Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie and others in a concert tribute to Alan Lomax.
Report and Projects: Music in the Balearic and Pityusan Islands
Alan Lomax’s 1952 recordings may constitute the first systematic field recordings of the music of the Pityusan Islands, Ibiza and Formentera. This online publication, written by Judith R. Cohen, Esperança Bonet Roig and Manel Frau, includes Lomax field recordings and photographs.
Alan Lomax Special
Two hours of tunes and tales recorded by legendary folk song hunter-gatherer Alan Lomax during his 50-plus years in the music. Joining Doug Schulkind, host of WFMU’s “Give the Drummer Some” is Alan Lomax Collection series consultant, Matt Barton. A set of astonishing recordings from the windswept British Isles to the brutal prison farms of 1940s Texas, and most points in between. Listen to the show (Real Audio)
Folklorist Alan Lomax
An interview with Alan Lomax that first aired July 9, 1990, on NPR’s “Fresh Air.”
Protest Music for a New Generation
Vietnam-Era Musicians Lead Chorus of Voices against War. The Alan Lomax Archive and the Association for Cultural Equity were supporters of this concert. Details, photos and music from the concert.
The Sound of 1930s Florida Folk Life
Blues Songs, Rural Life Focus of Library of Congress Web Archive. Independent producer Barrett Golding asked with Stetson Kennedy, now 89 and living in Jacksonville, Florida, for an in-depth retrospective of the folk-life project.
American Folklife Center
John Bishop and Media Generation
Mike Meddings’ Doctor Jazz & Jelly Roll Morton resource center
Blue Ridge Institute
John D. Calandra Italian American Institute
Center for Black Music Research
Center for Traditional Music and Dance
English Folk Dance and Song Society / Cecil Sharp House
Woody Guthrie Archives
Howlin’ Wuelf Media
Italian Oral History Institute
Stetson Kennedy Foundation
Lead Belly Foundation
The Magic Shop
New York Folklore Society
The Rosetta Project
Smithsonian Global Sound
World Music Institute