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Romancing the Folk: Public Memory & American Roots Music by Benjamin Filene


Alan Lomax, folk music's foremost pioneer and ethnomusicologist, died July 19, 2002.

Lomax was born in Texas in 1915. In the early 1930s, he and his father, pioneering folklorist John A. Lomax, first developed the Library of Congress' Archive of American Folksong as a major national resource.

Alan Lomax has been called "The Father of the American Folksong Revival" for his subsequent work as an ethnomusicologist, record producer and network radio host/writer. As a radio producer and field recordist at the BBC, he sparked a British folksong revival, which soon fueled the British pop-rock invasion.

The author/producer of many books, scientific articles, films and record releases, Lomax was a passionate advocate of "cultural equity," a principle that proposes to reverse the centralization of communication and give equal media time to the whole range of human cultures.

After six decades of "folk song hunting" he retired to Florida in 1996.

The Legacy of Alan Lomax

Alan Lomax is a beloved name in folk revivalism, capturing a dying style of music before it vanished and, as a result, helping to bring it back bigger than ever before. ... Fortunately for us, Lomax made these recordings before it was too late.
- from Tom Knapp's review of Songs of Seduction

Afro-American Folk Music from Tate & Panola Counties, Mississippi (2000)

Alan Lomax in Haiti (2009)

 Ballads, Blues & Bluegrass (2012)

Blues in the Mississippi Night (2003)

Blues Songbook (2003)

Calypso After Midnight (1999)

Calypso At Midnight (1999)

Caribbean Voyage
Grenada: Creole & Yoruba Voices (2001)
Martinique: Cane Fields & City Streets (2001)
Nevis & St. Kitts: Tea Meetings, Christmas Sports & the Moonlight Night (2002)
Saraca: Funerary Music of Carriacou (2000)
Tombstone Feast: Funerary Music of Carriacou (2001)
Trinidad: Carnival Roots (2000)

Deep River of Song
Alabama (2001)
Big Brazos (2000)
Georgia (2001)
Louisiana: Catch That Train & Testify (2004)
Virginia & the Piedmont (2000)

Italian Treasury
Abruzzo (2001)
Emilia-Romagna (2001)
Liguria: Baiardo & Imperia (2002)
Liguria: Polyphony of Ceriana (2002)
Piemonte & Valle D'Aosta (2004)

The Land Where the Blues Began (2002)

Negro Work Songs & Calls (1999)

Popular Songbook (2003)

Harry Cox, What Will Become of England? (2000)
Jimmy MacBeath, Tramps & Hawkers (2002)
Jimmy MacBeath & Davie Stewart, Two Gentlemen of the Road (2002)
Hobart Smith, Blue Ridge Legacy (2001)

Sing Christmas & the Turn of the Year (2000)

Songs of Seduction (1961/2000)

Southern Journey Remixed, with Tangle Eye (2004)

The Spanish Recordings
Basque Country: Navarre (2004)
Extremadura (2002)
Mallorca: The Balearic Islands (2006)

Muddy Waters, Library of Congress Recordings 1941-42 (2001)

Josh White & the Golden Gate Quartet, Freedom (2002)

World Library of Folk & Primitive Music
India (2002)
Romania (2001)
Yugoslavia (2001)