Our Singing Country: John and Alan Lomax, Leadbelly, and the Construction of an American Past.

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Benjamin P. Filene, Associate Professor and Director of Public History (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: IN THE EARLY 1930s, JOHN A. LOMAX LOST HIS BANK JOB TO THE depression and his wife to illness. Needing to make a fresh start, Lomax returned to the vocation he truly loved, collecting American folk songs. In 1933 he persuaded the Macmillan publishing company to contract for a book of songs, lined up charitable foundations to support a collecting expedition, and enlisted the Library of Congress's Archive of American Folk Song to provide recording equipment and to be the official repository of the materials he gathered. Then, with his seventeen-year-old son Alan to assist him and a 350-pound Presto recording machine built into the back seat of his car, Lomax set off to spend a summer collecting America's music. The 1933 trip was only the first in a series of expeditions the Lomaxes made in the thirties and early forties, when they travelled tens of thousands of miles and made thousands of recordings.

Additional Information

American Quarterly 43 (December 1991): 602-24
Language: English
Date: 1991
Leadbelly, Our Singing Country, John Lomax, Alan Lomax, Music

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