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Upcoming Lomax radio feature

13 May 19 - 07:37 PM (#3992230)
Subject: Upcoming Lomax radio feature
From: Hagman

BBC Radio 4 series "Great Lives" - English folk singer Shirley Collins nominates the life of the legendary American song-hunter Alan Lomax. She's joined by singer-songwriter Billy Bragg.

Tuesday May 21, 4:30pm, repeated Friday May 24, 11:00pm.

Details here. BBC radio programs available for listening world-wide from website, unlike TV shows....

14 May 19 - 04:31 AM (#3992279)
Subject: RE: Upcoming Lomax radio feature

Shirley Collins on the American song-hunter Alan Lomax

Great Lives - Series 48 - Episode 8 of 9

The prolific and most significant of American song-hunters - Alan Lomax - has been chosen by English folk singer Shirley Collins. She's joined by singer-songwriter and activist Billy Bragg.

Lomax did whatever was necessary to preserve traditional music and take it to a wider audience. He was the first to record towering figures like Lead Belly, Muddy Waters and Woody Guthrie. He was instrumental in the revival of U.S. and UK folk.

Shirley Collins met Lomax in 1954, after he'd moved to England to avoid the U.S. McCarthy witch-hunt. She tells the story of how they fell in love and describes their recording trips around Europe and in America's Deep South, on the cusp of the civil rights movement.

Lomax's ambition was to give a voice to the voiceless, and that took him from fisherman shacks to prisons, farmyards to cotton mills. His steadfast drive to capture cultures before they disappeared resulted in a staggering amount of recordings we can listen to today, from gospel choirs to Cajun fiddling, country blues to calypsos and Haitian voodoo rituals.

Chaired by Matthew Parris.

Producer: Eliza Lomas


14 May 19 - 04:45 AM (#3992282)
Subject: RE: Upcoming Lomax radio feature
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Upvote for Billy Bragg

14 May 19 - 01:09 PM (#3992350)
Subject: RE: Upcoming Lomax radio feature
From: Stringsinger

Alan copyrighted many songs that he collected. His raison d'etre was to keep them from being stolen by enterprising performers during the Great Folk Scare.

He was an entrepreneur for the traditional folk music before others.

Alan was a showman too. He dressed Leadbelly up in prison guard to offer a
mysterious and dangerous persona to the public. Leadbelly preferred a suit and tie.

Alan was persona non grata in Lubbock after he sponsored Leadbelly. John, the father, and the promotor of cowboy songs and ballads was a racist and didn't approve of Alan's marketing of Leadbelly.

If it weren't for the Lomaxes, there would be no Library of Congress Folk Arts Division.
It was mainly Alan and Bess.

Alan was inconsistent in his distaste for revival folk interpreters. He ranted and raved about Bud and Travis but yet credited the Kingston Trio for a part of the folk revival.

One of Alan's accomplishments was to catalogue world music through his notational method called Cantrometrics where he used wave forms to notate music like an oscilloscope.

If he had studied music formally, he would have had a better basis for comparison of classical or jazz from traditional music forms. His sister Bess had this training.

He had a proprietary attitude toward his collected informants which disturbed other folklorists and collectors. He bossed 'em around a bit.

Alan was the pioneer in field recordings and collecting. This was his life's work.

He played guitar and sang some of the songs in nice a recording for Folkways.

I heard a concert at his apartment in the Village of Clarence Ashley's band featuring an unknown at that time guitar player named Doc Watson. I think is was Ralph Rinzler who brought them to New York but Alan was there promoting them.

Alan's interview with Jelly Roll Morton for Library of Congress is a treasure.

He was an essential part of the folk music revival. Pete Seeger was the other essential figure.

15 May 19 - 05:26 AM (#3992477)
Subject: RE: Upcoming Lomax radio feature
From: FreddyHeadey

links to other Lomax \ BBC programmes

17 May 19 - 04:36 AM (#3992733)
Subject: RE: Upcoming Lomax radio feature
From: GUEST,matt milton

do wish Shirley C wasn't such a martyr to the memory of Alan Lomax. She's made so much amazing music in her life and has plenty to say about folk music and singing and people and history. Wish she'd talk about herself a bit more. Second I heard she was on Great Lives, I just knew she'd be talking about Lomax again. I wanna hear a Great Life on Bob Copper!

17 May 19 - 04:52 AM (#3992735)
Subject: RE: Upcoming Lomax radio feature
From: Hagman

Don't sense any martyrdom - suspect the producers of the show drive the agenda, hence the subject specificity. Her recent explosive renaissance created lots of opportunities to expound on her life and work - lots of the links and published stuff still available.

(A Great Life on Bob Copper a great idea, and co-incidentally, Shirley well-placed to do it. Are you listening/lurking, BBC producers?)