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Alan Lomax


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Alan Lomax (January 31, 1915 – July 19, 2002) was an important American folklorist and . He was one of the great field collectors of folk music of the 20th century, recording thousands of songs in the United States, Great Britain, the West Indies, Italy, and Spain.

Lomax was son of pioneering musicologist and folklorist John Lomax, with whom he started his career by recording songs sung by prisoners in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. He attended The Choate School in Wallingford, Connecticut, and then went on to earn a degree in philosophy from the University of Texas at Austin and worked on the oral history project for the Library of Congress. To some, he is best known for his theory of .

Lomax worked with his father on the Archive of Folk Culture, a collection of more than ten thousand recordings for the Archive of American Folk Song at the Library of Congress.

Lomax assembled a highly regarded treasure trove of American and international culture. He spent a lifetime collecting folk music from around the world, particularly from the American South. He also recorded substantial interviews with many musicians, including Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly, Muddy Waters, Jelly Roll Morton, and Jeannie Robertson. He produced radio shows, had a regular television series, and played an important role in both the American and British Folk revivals of the 1950s.

He recorded Irish traditional musicians including some of the songs in English and Irish of Elizabeth Cronin in 1951.


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  • Bizmuto

    do caralho!

    16 Apr 3:04am Reply
  • memristor

    Well now lastfm made it impossible to tag [Unknown] anyway from my understanding so... :'(

    11 Apr 3:23pm Reply
  • jazzthieve

    "Artist" can mean many things. It can either mean the composer of music (used primarly for classical music), it can mean the performer (most popular music), the bandleader of the performers (Jazz music: Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller, Miles Davis,...), the producer (mostly used for electronic music). But somehow people seem to have a problem with using the recorder or ethnomusicologist as the "artist" when nothing else is known. So people tend to use the most generic option they can find like "unknown" or "traditional". At least with the Alan Lomax tag you'll get an artist page with relevant genre tags and similar artist. I dare you to go the "unknown" artist page and find anything relevant there.... So yeah....stupid like I said. Very weird indeed huh?

    6 Jun 2014 Reply
  • jazzthieve

    Paszt consider this...what would be more relevant as a tag? "Unknown" or "traditional" which can refer to much more types of music (or artsist/composers) or "Alan Lomax" which still is alot more relevant to the music then those other options. It's kinda the same discussion where people like to tag the performer of classical music instead of the composer. So you have "London Symphony Orchestra" instead of Mozart. Tagging it like that doesn't tell you much about the music. Just like "traditional" and especially "unknown" doesn't tell you much about the Lomax rexordings either, at least the tag "Alan Lomax" tells you something. Now do you understand the stupidity of using "unknown" as a tag?

    6 Jun 2014 Reply
  • Paszt

    So tagging an unknown artist as unknown is stupid? What a weird definition of stupid you have jazz thieve. I wouldn't call incorrectly tagging an unknown song artist with Alan Lomax stupid, I'd just call it wrong, or incorrect. And do you see the hypocrisy in your post telling people to stop complaining about this when the other comments are rather old? By the way, a lot of these songs would be better attributed with Traditional since they pre-date any written or recorded version.

    5 Apr 2014 Reply
  • jazzthieve

    For lots of recordings by alan the artist is unknown so I much rather prefer to tag it as 'alan lomax" instead of "unknown" or "unknown artist" those are stupid tags. So stop complaining about this.

    8 Mar 2014 Reply
  • Metaknite

    dang homie - everybody check out The Spanish Recordings: Aragon & Valencia

    20 Sep 2013 Reply
  • headey13 < prob only avail till April 13th 2013.

    7 Apr 2013 Reply
  • YF_TB

    If anyone can give me the names of the men who performed the music he 'just recorded', I will definitely change the tags. Until then, I will credit this to Alan Lomax.

    4 Dec 2012 Reply
  • IamFlood

    Also, Mr. Lomax was a fine folksinger in his own right.

    6 Jun 2012 Reply
  • rafael_freitas

    "...he's just the recorder"? guess who would listen to this awesome music legacy if he hadn’t "just" recorded it, cunt.[2]

    6 May 2012 Reply
  • anibalalonso

    "...he's just the recorder"? guess who would listen to this awesome music legacy if he hadn’t "just" recorded it, cunt.

    4 Nov 2011 Reply
  • bakunin_blues

    well for some of lomax recordings the artists name is not known so it had to be tagged as alan lomax

    3 Apr 2011 Reply
  • SlightlyBlack

    Well, it's easier to find in the library[2]

    4 Dec 2010 Reply
  • noixkyd

    lame to tag the songs with artist as alan lomax. he's just the recorder. - agree with that

    20 Jan 2010 Reply
  • lunchhourpops

    lame to tag the songs with artist as alan lomax. he's just the recorder.

    8 Nov 2009 Reply
  • waldorfgx

    Fans of Lomax should check out 'Lomax the Songhunter', a 2004 documentary directed by Rogier Kappers.

    10 Mar 2009 Reply
  • Borrias


    1 Mar 2009 Reply
  • Cacophonaut

    This is bloody fantastic.

    21 Nov 2008 Reply
  • All 22 shouts

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