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Alan Lomax’s “List of American Folk Songs on Commercial Records” (1940) | Root Hog Or Die
"Of the estimated (by Szwed) 3000 titles Lomax, Lomax, and Seeger listened to, Alan selected 350 for inclusion in a Library of Congress monograph called the “List of American Folk Songs on Commercial Records,” published in a September 1940 Report of the Committee of the Conference on Inter-American Relations in the Field of Music. This was the first methodological research made into the pre-war commercial record companies’ documentation of rural vernacular music and, despite its main shortcoming — the fact that the team had little or no access to titles from the Gennett or OKeh catalogs — it proved to be a highly influential road-map for at least two of the earliest and most influential collectors of this music, Harry Smith* and James McKune, who in turn paved the way for the many years that followed of its further excavation, investigation, and publication — which, of course, continue apace today.
The list takes some getting used to. Alan’s categories are often idiosyncratic, requiring frequent review of the “Code used in condensation.” Some delineations are peculiar, provocative (on what basis should Charley Lincoln’s “Gamblin’ Charley” be considered “completely authentic”?), and highly subjective. But that’s the point. It’s a thrill to imagine Lomax listening to “Vo 03623, Hell Hound on My Trail, Robert Johnson” and jotting “unusual m[elody], traces of voodoo, beautiful g[uitar]” in his notebook. How lucky he was to listen with ears unclogged by the intervening decades of myth-making and canon-consolidation."
alanlomax  oldtime  folk  music  blues  lists 
may 2014 by arosner
Association for Cultural Equity
"The Association for Cultural Equity (ACE) was founded by Alan Lomax to explore and preserve the world's expressive traditions with humanistic commitment and scientific engagement. ACE was registered as a charitable organization in the State of New York in 1983, and is housed at New York City's Hunter College.


Inspired by the example set by Alan Lomax, our mission is to stimulate cultural equity through preservation, research, and dissemination of the world's traditional music, and to reconnect people and communities with their creative heritage."

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january 2014 by robertogreco
The Anxiety of Authenticity
Duncan Murrell offers a personal meditation on the music of New Orleans and its representation in HBO’s Treme—and makes some critical observations concerning the legacy of John and Alan Lomax, the folklorists who pioneered the documentation and preservation of American music in the first half of the twentieth century.
alanlomax  music  oxfordamerican  louisiana  duncanmurrel  neworleans  culture 
september 2013 by brendanmcfadden
Alan Lomax sound recordings
The Sound Recordings catalog comprises over 17,400 digital audio files, beginning with Lomax’s first recordings onto (newly invented) tape in 1946 and tracing his career into the 1990s. In addition to a wide spectrum of musical performances from around the world, it includes stories, jokes, sermons, personal narratives, interviews conducted by Lomax and his associates, and unique ambient artifacts captured in transit from radio broadcasts, sometimes inadvertently, when Alan left the tape machine running. Not a single piece of recorded sound in Lomax’s audio archive has been omitted: meaning that microphone checks, partial performances, and false starts are also included.
This material from Alan Lomax’s independent archive, begun in 1946, which has been digitized and preserved by the Association for Cultural Equity, is distinct from the thousands of earlier recordings on acetate and aluminum discs he made from 1933 to 1942 under the auspices of the Library of Congress
alanlomax  fieldrecordings  music 
february 2013 by lousywiththespirit
Untitled (
Yeah… And this article ties it into the GREAT DEPRESSION MAKEWORK PUBLIC HUMANITIES so I’m a
alanlomax  from twitter
june 2012 by yayitsrob
Sound Collections Guide |
Extensive archive of music & interviews recorded by Alan Lomax
archive  audio  folk  jazz  blues  alanLomax 
march 2012 by donutage

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