Alan Lomax

~ Person


Alan Lomax (January 31, 1915 – July 19, 2002) was an American field collector of folk music of the 20th century. He was also a folklorist, ethnomusicologist, archivist, writer, scholar, political activist, oral historian, and film-maker. Lomax produced recordings, concerts, and radio shows in the US and in England, which played an important role in both the American and British folk revivals of the 1940s, 1950s and early 1960s. He collected material first with his father, folklorist and collector John A. Lomax, and later alone and with others, Lomax recorded thousands of songs and interviews for the Archive of American Folk Song, of which he was the director, at the Library of Congress on aluminum and acetate discs.

After 1942, when Congress cut off the Library of Congress's funding for folk song collecting, Lomax continued to collect independently in Britain, Ireland, the Caribbean, Italy, and Spain, as well as the United States, using the latest recording technology, assembling an enormous collection of American and international culture. In March 2004 the material captured and produced without Library of Congress funding was acquired by the Library, which 'brings the entire seventy years of Alan Lomax's work together under one roof at the Library of Congress, where it has found a permanent home.' With the start of the Cold War, Lomax continued to speak out for a public role for folklore, even as academic folklorists turned inward. He devoted much of the latter part of his life to advocating what he called Cultural Equity, which he sought to put on a solid theoretical foundation through to his Cantometrics research (which included a prototype Cantometrics-based educational program, the Global Jukebox). In the 1970s and 1980s Lomax advised the Smithsonian Institution's Folklife Festival and produced a series of films about folk music, American Patchwork, which aired on PBS in 1991. In his late seventies, Lomax completed a long-deferred memoir, The Land Where the Blues Began (1995), linking the birth of the blues to debt peonage, segregation, and forced labor in the American South.

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Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1955 The Spanish Recordings: Asturies Alan Lomax 1
1960 Sounds of the South Alan Lomax 2
1997 Prison Songs • Historial Recordings From Parchman Farm 1947-48 • Volume One: Murderous Home Alan Lomax 1
2004 Caribbean Voyage: The French Antilles: We Will Play Love Tonight! Alan Lomax 1
2012 Texas Folk Songs Sung by Alan Lomax Alan Lomax 1

Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1994 Scottish Drinking and Pipe Songs Alan Lomax 1
1997 Caribbean Voyage - Brown Girl in the Ring Alan Lomax 1
1998 World Library of Folk & Primitive Music, Volume 1: England Alan Lomax 1
2000 Folk Songs of England, Ireland, Scotland & Wales: Songs of Seduction Alan Lomax 1
2000 Italian Treasury: Sicily Alan Lomax 1
2002 Italian Treasury: Liguria: Baiardo and Imperia Alan Lomax 1
2004 Singing in the Streets: Scottish Children's Songs Alan Lomax 1
Songs of Christmas from the Alan Lomax Collection Alan Lomax 1

Album + Live

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2000 Sing Christmas and the Turn of the Year (The Live Christmas Day 1957 Broadcast on BBC Radio) Alan Lomax feat. Shirley Collins, Ewan MacColl, Peggy Seeger, Seamus Ennis, and many more! 1


Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1991 Blues in the Mississippi Night Alan Lomax 1

Unspecified type

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1994 Cowboy Songs Of The Old West Alan Lomax & Ed McCurdy 1

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