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Author Topic: Alan Lomax: If you love music ...
skdadl
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Babbler # 478

posted 26 July 2002 11:40 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Last week, the great American musicologist Alan Lomax died at the fine age of 87.

quote:
Among the famous musicians recorded by the Lomaxes were Woodie Guthrie; Huddie Ledbetter, known as Leadbelly; "Jelly Roll" Morton; Muddy Waters; and Son House.

Much of their work was done for the Library of Congress, where the Archive of American Folk Song had been established in 1928.

Some of the music that seemed exotic in the '30s had a profound influence on the development of rock 'n' roll. In "The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll," critic Robert Palmer wrote about a black religious "ring shout" song, "Run Old Jeremiah," recorded by the Lomaxes in a tiny rural church in 1934.

"The rhythmic singing, the hard-driving beat, the bluesy melody and the improvised, stream-of-consciousness words of this particular shout ... all anticipate key aspects of rock & roll as it would emerge some 20 years later," Palmer wrote.


Anyone who was touched by the successive waves of folk and blues revivals of the 1950s-60s, and remembers how much the rock explosion of the 1960s (first in Britain, among groups who remembered American folk and blues music, and were not prevented from playing it, as Americans were during the 1950s) depended on those revivals, knew this man's name.

quote:
In 1994, his book "The Land Where the Blues Began" won the National Book Critics Circle award for most distinguished nonfiction of 1993. It documented the stories, musicians and listeners behind blues music.

In 1990, Lomax's five-part documentary series "American Patchwork" was shown on PBS, exploring such topics as the blues, Cajun culture and the British roots of Appalachian music.


A great life: all honour to him, and to his father before him.


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jeff house
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Babbler # 518

posted 26 July 2002 02:09 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I agree! He was the best.

There was a Canadian woman who did somewhat similar work with Canadian, and especially Newfoundland outport music. Does anyone recall her name? She is also deceased, I believe, but did a lot for music in this country.

I think this kind of work provides cascading benefits as the decades wear on, as the original tunes are reworked and redeveloped, and sometimes
returned to in their pure form.


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skdadl
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Babbler # 478

posted 27 July 2002 11:42 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Jeff, you're right about the Canadian woman who worked especially in the Newfoundland outports, recovering traditional songs -- and I'm ashamed I can't remember her name, especially since I've worked on books about her (and think that UTP published her). Have sent out some tentacles; will report back.
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skdadl
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Babbler # 478

posted 27 July 2002 04:30 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Helen Creighton, 1899-1989, collector of songs and stories in English, French, Gaelic, Micmac, and German.

A Sigh and a Wish: the NFB bio of Helen Creighton.

Well, this doesn't get us to Newfoundland yet, and I know you're right, jeff -- some women did. Will keep looking. This is magnifique all on its own, though, yes?


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Ed Weatherbee
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Babbler # 2844

posted 27 July 2002 05:56 PM      Profile for Ed Weatherbee        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Are you thinking about Edith Fowke. She also was instrumental in preserving a lot of folk music in this country and her efforts were used to produce a number of Fokway albums.

..Edith Fowke was once asked why she had devoted so much of her life
to the study of folk music and folklore. She responded by saying "I'm an
ordinary person, and what ordinary people do is important" (Ross 1996).
Edith was a very significant collector of Ontario folk songs, but her
interest in folk music was national. Edith produced more than thirty
books and dozens of articles dealing with Canadian folk songs and
folklore. ....

More at

http://cjtm.icaap.org/content/26/kirby.html


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skdadl
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Babbler # 478

posted 27 July 2002 06:22 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Bang on, Ed!

(Although there were all those others. )


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