various artists,
Rock Me, Shake Me:
Field Recordings, Vol. 15,
Mississippi 1941-1942

(Document, 2002)

In 1928, the Library of Congress began recording folk music, the authentic music of real people singing songs in American farmhouses, on front porches, in prisons and schoolrooms. Field workers used battery-powered disc-cutting machines as they traveled outside areas with electricity.

Rock Me, Shake Me presents African Americans from all walks of life performing a wide variety of music: spirituals, work songs, blues and ballads. Many of these selections have not previously been available on CD, including a previously unissued early recording of Dave "Honeyboy" Edward's "I Love My Jelly Roll."

There are also several non-musical selections including interviews, and the startling and scurrilous "Hitler Toast" presented by an unidentified man. It's a reminder that these recording were made during the early years of American involvement in World War II.

These recordings are an amazing glimpse of folk life and music from another time. The collection is highly recommended.

- Rambles
written by Janice Snapp
published 19 April 2003

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