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Lomax collection – photographs

lomax collection

From the Lomax collection – about 400 photographs. 1934-ca. 1950.

Amazing snapshots documenting the immensely important sound recording expeditions carried out by John Avery Lomax, Alan Lomax (see more below), and Ruby Terrill Lomax for the Archive of American Folk Song, including African American and Latino musicians, singers, and dancers, primarily in the southern United States and the Bahamas.

More here: Link

Alan Lomax (January 15, 1915 – July 19, 2002)
Alan Lomax was a famous American folklorist and musicologist, and was one of the great field collectors of folk music of the 20th century, recording thousands of songs in the United States, Great Britain, Ireland, the West Indies, Italy, and Spain.

Alan Lomax had a very forward looking philosophy regarding music and performance and, like his father, carried out immensely valuable work, making an inestimable contribution to modern music.

The array or songs and artists they documented is staggering.

The amount of invaluable music they saved from likely loss is impossible to estimate.

Lomax was the son of pioneering musicologist and folklorist John A. Lomax, with whom he started his career by recording songs sung by sharecroppers and prisoners in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

From 1936 to 1942 Lomax was “Assistant in Charge” of the Archive of Folk Song of the Library of Congress to which he and his father and numerous collaborators contributed more than ten thousand field recordings. During his lifetime, he collected folk music from the United States, Haiti, the Caribbean, Ireland, Great Britain, Spain, and Italy, assembling treasure trove of American and international culture. A pioneering oral historian, he also recorded substantial interviews with many legendary folk musicians, including Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly, Muddy Waters, Jelly Roll Morton, Irish singer Margaret Barry, Scots ballad singer Jeannie Robertson, and Harry Cox of Norfolk, England, among many others.

As a member of the Popular Front and People’s Songs in the 1940s, Alan Lomax promoted what was then known as “One World” and today is called multiculturalism. In the late forties he produced a series of concerts at Town Hall and Carnegie Hall that presented Flamenco guitar and Calypso, along with country blues, Appalachian music, Andean music, and jazz. His radio shows of the 40s and 50s explored musics of all the world’s peoples.

Alan Lomax received the National Medal of Arts from President Reagan in 1986, a Library of Congress Living Legend Award in 2000, and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Philosophy from Tulane University in 2001. He won the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Ralph J. Gleason Music Book Award in 1993 for his book The Land Where the Blues Began, connecting the story of the origins of Blues music with the prevalence of forced labor in the pre-World War II South (especially on the Mississippi levees). Lomax also received a posthumous Grammy Trustees Award for his lifetime achievements in 2003. Jelly Roll Morton: The Complete Library of Congress Recordings by Alan Lomax (Rounder Records, 8 CDs boxed set) won in two categories at the 48th annual Grammy Awards ceremony held on Feb 8, 2006

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September 27, 2008 Posted by | Alan Lomax, _PHOTOGRAPHY | Leave a comment