Mudcat Café message #3992350 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #166138   Message #3992350
Posted By: Stringsinger
14-May-19 - 01:09 PM
Thread Name: Upcoming Lomax radio feature
Subject: RE: Upcoming Lomax radio feature
Alan copyrighted many songs that he collected. His raison d'etre was to keep them from being stolen by enterprising performers during the Great Folk Scare.

He was an entrepreneur for the traditional folk music before others.

Alan was a showman too. He dressed Leadbelly up in prison guard to offer a
mysterious and dangerous persona to the public. Leadbelly preferred a suit and tie.

Alan was persona non grata in Lubbock after he sponsored Leadbelly. John, the father, and the promotor of cowboy songs and ballads was a racist and didn't approve of Alan's marketing of Leadbelly.

If it weren't for the Lomaxes, there would be no Library of Congress Folk Arts Division.
It was mainly Alan and Bess.

Alan was inconsistent in his distaste for revival folk interpreters. He ranted and raved about Bud and Travis but yet credited the Kingston Trio for a part of the folk revival.

One of Alan's accomplishments was to catalogue world music through his notational method called Cantrometrics where he used wave forms to notate music like an oscilloscope.

If he had studied music formally, he would have had a better basis for comparison of classical or jazz from traditional music forms. His sister Bess had this training.

He had a proprietary attitude toward his collected informants which disturbed other folklorists and collectors. He bossed 'em around a bit.

Alan was the pioneer in field recordings and collecting. This was his life's work.

He played guitar and sang some of the songs in nice a recording for Folkways.

I heard a concert at his apartment in the Village of Clarence Ashley's band featuring an unknown at that time guitar player named Doc Watson. I think is was Ralph Rinzler who brought them to New York but Alan was there promoting them.

Alan's interview with Jelly Roll Morton for Library of Congress is a treasure.

He was an essential part of the folk music revival. Pete Seeger was the other essential figure.