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Obit: Alan Lomax-An Era Passes (1915-2002)

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kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 19 Jul 02 - 05:08 PM
CapriUni 19 Jul 02 - 05:09 PM
Ron Olesko 19 Jul 02 - 05:13 PM
Mudlark 19 Jul 02 - 05:17 PM
RolyH 19 Jul 02 - 05:17 PM
RangerSteve 19 Jul 02 - 05:19 PM
Ron Olesko 19 Jul 02 - 05:21 PM
Amos 19 Jul 02 - 05:26 PM
Wesley S 19 Jul 02 - 05:27 PM
katlaughing 19 Jul 02 - 05:29 PM
Amergin 19 Jul 02 - 05:53 PM
GUEST 19 Jul 02 - 05:53 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Jul 02 - 06:35 PM
greg stephens 19 Jul 02 - 06:48 PM
Tweed 19 Jul 02 - 07:50 PM
IvanB 19 Jul 02 - 08:08 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Jul 02 - 08:18 PM
GUEST 19 Jul 02 - 08:24 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Jul 02 - 08:26 PM
Don Firth 19 Jul 02 - 10:00 PM
DancingMom 19 Jul 02 - 10:10 PM
masato sakurai 19 Jul 02 - 10:16 PM
Rolfyboy6 19 Jul 02 - 10:34 PM
Dan Schatz 19 Jul 02 - 10:59 PM
Art Thieme 19 Jul 02 - 11:01 PM
Deckman 19 Jul 02 - 11:34 PM
katlaughing 19 Jul 02 - 11:37 PM
GUEST,adavis@truman.edu 20 Jul 02 - 12:27 AM
Sandy Paton 20 Jul 02 - 01:30 AM
GUEST,Max Low 20 Jul 02 - 02:53 AM
katlaughing 20 Jul 02 - 02:58 AM
Genie 20 Jul 02 - 03:02 AM
GUEST,andymac 20 Jul 02 - 03:03 AM
Art Thieme 20 Jul 02 - 09:09 AM
GUEST,Ard Mhacha 20 Jul 02 - 09:25 AM
raredance 20 Jul 02 - 10:36 AM
Alice 20 Jul 02 - 12:13 PM
fat B****rd 20 Jul 02 - 12:17 PM
DougR 20 Jul 02 - 06:05 PM
simon-pierre 21 Jul 02 - 12:41 AM
Blackcatter 21 Jul 02 - 12:54 AM
Greycap 21 Jul 02 - 04:53 AM
Deckman 21 Jul 02 - 07:37 AM
nickp 21 Jul 02 - 01:57 PM
Genie 21 Jul 02 - 02:27 PM
GUEST,Ron Olesko 21 Jul 02 - 03:25 PM
vectis 21 Jul 02 - 07:57 PM
Nigel Parsons 22 Jul 02 - 04:36 AM
GUEST,Philippa 22 Jul 02 - 07:55 AM
GUEST,Philippa 22 Jul 02 - 08:03 AM
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Subject: Alan Lomax-An Era Passes
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 19 Jul 02 - 05:08 PM

Friends in Alan Lomax's New York office called this afternoon with sad news of Alan Lomax's death at his home in Florida. It is known that his funeral will be on Tuesday, but no other details are known as yet. Tomorrow's newspapers will have more news, but I'm told that his going was rather sudden, and unexpected. We mourn our friend, a fine man and a lifelong contributor to the world of traditional folksong and folk life.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Alan Lomax-An Era Passes
From: CapriUni
Date: 19 Jul 02 - 05:09 PM

Wow...


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Alan Lomax-An Era Passes
From: Ron Olesko
Date: 19 Jul 02 - 05:13 PM

Our thoughts are with his daughter Anna Lomax Chairetakis and the rest of the Lomax family.

We all owe Alan our gratitude for his work. He will be remembered (and thanked) by generations to come.

We love you Alan.

Ron


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Alan Lomax-An Era Passes
From: Mudlark
Date: 19 Jul 02 - 05:17 PM

A great loss... But what a wonderful life.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Alan Lomax-An Era Passes
From: RolyH
Date: 19 Jul 02 - 05:17 PM

Alan Lomax was a catalyst of the American and British folk revivals.He will be sorely missed.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Alan Lomax-An Era Passes
From: RangerSteve
Date: 19 Jul 02 - 05:19 PM

There's a wealth of great music that he collected that, due to its lack of commercial value, wouldn't have made it to our ears if it weren't for Mr. Lomax. Thanks.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Alan Lomax-An Era Passes
From: Ron Olesko
Date: 19 Jul 02 - 05:21 PM

From www.alan-lomax.com:

Alan Lomax 1915 - 2002

Alan Lomax passed away on the morning of July 19, 2002. Alan Lomax is survived by his loving daughter Anna Lomax Chairetakis of Holiday, FL; his devoted grandson Odysseus Desmond Chairetakis of Holiday, FL; his sister Bess Lomax Hawes of Northridge, CA; his step-daughter Shelley Roitman of Holiday, FL; his nephews; John Lomax III, Nicolas Hawes, John Bishop, Drew Mihalik, and his nieces; Ellen Harold, Patricia Gordon, Susan Mihalik, Naomi Bishop and Corey Dinos.

Funeral Services for Alan Lomax Vinson Funeral Home 456 East Tarpon Avenue Tarpon Springs, FL 34689 Services on Tuesday July 23, 2002 Viewing from 3-5PM, Funeral Service 5-6PM In lieu of flowers the family has asked that donations be made to: The Blues Music Foundation for the Willie Moore Fund c/o Experience Music Project 2901 3rd Ave Seattle, WA 98121


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Alan Lomax-An Era Passes
From: Amos
Date: 19 Jul 02 - 05:26 PM

There was a man who stood head and shoulders above the rest; in some dimension, I can feel the earth trembling at his parting. May his kind come again.

A


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Alan Lomax-An Era Passes
From: Wesley S
Date: 19 Jul 02 - 05:27 PM

I know I'll always be thankful for his work. He sure blessed all of us while he was here.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Alan Lomax-An Era Passes
From: katlaughing
Date: 19 Jul 02 - 05:29 PM

Only two years older than my dad - what an incredible generation they shared. Dad will be sorry to hear this, as I am saddened. We do owe him a great debt for such an wonderful legacy.

Thanks, Jean, for letting us know.

Rest in Peace, Mr. Lomax and thanks so very much,

kat & her dad, "Sparky"


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Alan Lomax-An Era Passes
From: Amergin
Date: 19 Jul 02 - 05:53 PM

oh shit....wow....think i will just pull out my books tonight....thank you..


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Alan Lomax-An Era Passes
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Jul 02 - 05:53 PM

I owe him an incalcuable debt

Nothing else to say, right now


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Alan Lomax-An Era Passes
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Jul 02 - 06:35 PM

When I read this thread and learned about Alan Lomax's death, I reached out and looked up to see what that other great folklorist contemporary and friend of Alan's, Hamish Henderson who died a few months ago, might have to give us. I found this in an article about another great man, Calum MacLean, with whom Alan worked and whom he greatly admired.

And here is Alan writing about Calum when he died, in words that are very applicable now:

I grieved on that day...when I heard he had gone away over the hill, but rejoice to know that he left behind so many good friends and so much fine work."

And here is something from the same article, part of a translation from the Gaelic of a poem Calum's brother Sorley wrote about Calum years after his death; and this also rings a bell now:

The world is still beautiful
though you are not in it...
There is many a poor man...
whose spirit and name you raised;
you lifted the humble
whom our age put aside.
They gave you more
than they would give to others
since you gave them the zeal
that was a fire beneath your kindness.

They sensed the vehemence
that was gentle in your ways,
they understood the heavy depths of your humanity
when your fun was at its lightest...
You took the retreat
to the western edge,
you did not take the breaking,
who never were broken,
who reached the mouth of the grave
with your spirit always the victor."

The Mudcat is a good place to learn of a death like this, where there are others who understand why it matters. It's a kind of wake.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Alan Lomax-An Era Passes
From: greg stephens
Date: 19 Jul 02 - 06:48 PM

what can you say? his song collecting changed everything for me.and for all of us here, that's for sure.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Alan Lomax-An Era Passes
From: Tweed
Date: 19 Jul 02 - 07:50 PM

Very sad about this one. He surely showed us all a lot of things we'd never have gotten to see and hear otherwise.
Tweed


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Alan Lomax-An Era Passes
From: IvanB
Date: 19 Jul 02 - 08:08 PM

It was Alan Lomax's influence, more than any other single person, that lead me to an interest in folk music that has lasted throughout my adult life. His collecting and writing opened for me the boundless storehouse of song that exists, the volume of which still fills me with wonder over almost 40 years later.

The world is certainly a lesser place today for his absence. RIP, Mr. Lomax.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Alan Lomax-An Era Passes
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Jul 02 - 08:18 PM

A wake really ought to have a few songs. And if possible some kind of presence by the deaparted.

Here is both - contained in a link to a page on the Alan Lomax site, with a video film about a project of his called "The Amazing Global Jukebox" - and it's got Alan talking about it at the beginning and especially at the end of the clip (which klasts about ten minutes of streaming video; and there's some thought provoking stuff in between.

Incidentally, one field recording he made which we've probably all heard recently, along with a whole lot of other people who didn't think they liked folk music too much, is "Po' Lazarus" which opens "O Brother Where Art Thou."


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Alan Lomax-An Era Passes
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Jul 02 - 08:24 PM

Thanks, Kevin


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Alan Lomax-An Era Passes
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Jul 02 - 08:26 PM

And from that site here is Alan's daugter expalining about the Amazing Global Jukebox:

"Lomax-Chairetakis: The Global Jukebox is a multimedia program that Alan began working on in the late '80s, and continued on until about 1994, when he had to retire. It's pretty amazing, because he put it together right at the beginning when multimedia was first getting started.

He actually brought it to a prototype phase -- it's not finished yet. It's meant to be sort of an exploratorium, that's what he called it, for people to be able to look at their music and their culture at the same time.

And [explore] their cultural ancestry through music -- and dance, as well -- through this tool. It's also a research tool.

It's pretty huge and complex. It's based on about 25 years of research that Alan and other colleagues in anthropology, musicology, linguistics, and dance did on performance styles all over the world.

They looked at different aspects of the way people make music and sing, and the way people move, and move in dance and in work, and how that relates to culture and other things.

They came up with some pretty amazing results and interesting ideas. That's all in there. Our goal is to finish it one day.

Now, wouldn't it be great if, as a thank you to Alan, that could happen?


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Alan Lomax-An Era Passes
From: Don Firth
Date: 19 Jul 02 - 10:00 PM

I just heard it on NPR.

The number of people who leave the kind of indelible mark on a culture that Alan Lomax has is small indeed. The effect of their work reaches on into the future, so even though they may be gone, they have attained a kind of immortality. He'll be around for a long time.

Well done, Mr. Lomax. Well done indeed.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Alan Lomax-An Era Passes
From: DancingMom
Date: 19 Jul 02 - 10:10 PM

Mr. Lomax, thank you.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Alan Lomax-An Era Passes
From: masato sakurai
Date: 19 Jul 02 - 10:16 PM

When I became interested in folk music, it and his name were almost synonymous, and in part still is. A lot of my knowledge is from his writings and recordings.

~Masato


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Alan Lomax-An Era Passes
From: Rolfyboy6
Date: 19 Jul 02 - 10:34 PM

I was just a burr headed thirteen year old country boy in 1960 when I began hunting about songs. There in the libraries of those little Mississippi Valley towns were the Lomax song books. Some of them had notes on how to play the songs. It was my first school. And then I found the field recordings! Thanks Alan. You un-homogenized culture. And saved a hell of a lot of good songs. And recorded a hell of a lot of great music that "had no commercial potential."

I set out good bottles of red and white wine here at the wake. Gotta go get out the books and tune up the guitar. Here's looking at you, Alan!


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Alan Lomax-An Era Passes
From: Dan Schatz
Date: 19 Jul 02 - 10:59 PM

I remember when I was about 8 or 9, my mother gave me a copy of Folksongs of North America. I used it well. I mangled it, in fact, as 9 year olds will do in the process of loving something. I'm on my second or third copy now, and I use it often.

I hope his family are weathering the loss as well as possible, and that his death was peaceful and easeful. We are fortunate he left such a rich legacy.

Dan


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Alan Lomax-An Era Passes
From: Art Thieme
Date: 19 Jul 02 - 11:01 PM

Just sadness comes after hearing about the loss of the tallest tree in our forest. And though he was a singular presence, his falling makes tremendous thundering music for us all to hear every time we pick one of his collected works now available in these latter days on the many CDs of his caught songs from Rounder Records. I saw him frail and in his wheelchair in Cleveland at the Folk Alliance gathering a while ago; asked him to race me across the hotel lobby since I was in one too. He couldn't respond, but even diminished by strokes, he was a giant. He set a towering standard (along with his father) that defined what THE TRADITION was---and is. Alan Lomax and his work personified and delineated that definition of the word folksong that propels many of us here---to the consternation of modern people intent on heading into the future instead of looking to the past for lessons and inspiration. And that's great. As Joe Campbell said, "Follow your bliss." (We all will and did do that anyhow.) It's how we got from there to here-----from then to now. ---------------
Just remember, any time you want to jump into a real time machine, simply use the devices that Alan Lomax has left with us. The artifacts he found on his treasure hunts can allow us to do all that and more. Now we can meet with real ghosts---and we can learn their songs too.

Love to you all,

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Alan Lomax-An Era Passes
From: Deckman
Date: 19 Jul 02 - 11:34 PM

Art ... I just want to compliment you on quite an elegant posting. Thanks, Bob


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Alan Lomax-An Era Passes
From: katlaughing
Date: 19 Jul 02 - 11:37 PM

Yes, me, too. I'd been waiting to read what you'd have to say, Art. I knew your eloquence would sum it up beautifully. Thanks so much,

luvyakat


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Alan Lomax-An Era Passes
From: GUEST,adavis@truman.edu
Date: 20 Jul 02 - 12:27 AM

Sad day. I need to work up an obit for my site. May I quote you, Art?

Adam


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Alan Lomax-An Era Passes
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 20 Jul 02 - 01:30 AM

I'm grateful to McGrath of harlow for the quoted verse above. These words so well express what Alan Lomax was about:

There is many a poor man...
whose spirit and name you raised;
you lifted the humble
whom our age put aside.
They gave you more
than they would give to others
since you gave them the zeal
that was a fire beneath your kindness.

The art of the common men and women of the earth, as perceived, gathered, and presented to us by Alan (and his father), has enriched our lives beyond measure.

I urge you to acquire and listen to the "Deep River of Song" series of Lomax field recordings available from Rounder. For me, they encapsulate the legacy he has left to us and from which we have so much to learn. It's more than music, you know; it's about life and our respect for and understanding of our fellow creatures.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Alan Lomax-An Era Passes
From: GUEST,Max Low
Date: 20 Jul 02 - 02:53 AM

Alan Lomax saved American music. Rest in peace, Big Fella.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Alan Lomax-An Era Passes
From: katlaughing
Date: 20 Jul 02 - 02:58 AM

Beautiful, Sandy. Thank you...luvyakat


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Alan Lomax-An Era Passes
From: Genie
Date: 20 Jul 02 - 03:02 AM

What a loss. What a legacy. He'll be sorely missed.

Genie


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Alan Lomax-An Era Passes
From: GUEST,andymac
Date: 20 Jul 02 - 03:03 AM

An era passes right enough. Along with Hamish Henderson, he helped to pass on folk music to the coming generations. The world will be a sadder place for their going, but richer for them having been here.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Alan Lomax-An Era Passes
From: Art Thieme
Date: 20 Jul 02 - 09:09 AM

Adam, certainly you may. I didn't write it I don't think. It just happened.

Art


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Alan Lomax-An Era Passes
From: GUEST,Ard Mhacha
Date: 20 Jul 02 - 09:25 AM

Some ten years ago, Alan Lomax featured on a BBC programme about the life of Woody Guthrie, Lomax was brilliant, he seemed to have observed every aspect of such a complicated person as Woody.

A great man, God rest his Soul. Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Alan Lomax-An Era Passes
From: raredance
Date: 20 Jul 02 - 10:36 AM

Alan and his father, John, traced a line of folk music through the whole of the 20th century. What an achievement! They left us with a wealth of audio snapshots through which we can catch glimpses of our heritage.

rich r


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Alan Lomax-An Era Passes
From: Alice
Date: 20 Jul 02 - 12:13 PM

I was in my car listening to NPR news yesterday whan I heard this sad report. I flashed back to being a child in the early 60's and discovering my brother's big black book of Folk Songs of North America collected by Alan Lomax. As I listened to the news of his passing, I thought of all the people who were changed by his work, of all of us who were brought together in a common appreciation of this old music. The 1960 edition of the book is next to me now, well worn and falling apart. What a great life and gift to the world he was.

Alice


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Alan Lomax-An Era Passes
From: fat B****rd
Date: 20 Jul 02 - 12:17 PM

Thinking that only a couple of weeks ago I watched Moby on the South Bank Show and heard some of this Man's field recordings how much we owe him and his father for some incredible music. RIP Mr. Alan.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Alan Lomax-An Era Passes
From: DougR
Date: 20 Jul 02 - 06:05 PM

We had a three day Music Panel meeting in the early 70's at Berea College, and Alan Lomax was a member of the panel. He had a wonderful wit, and I enjoyed being with him, along with the other music notables very much. We had to take a bus from the nearest airport to the college, and Alan and the director of the music program at the NEA, Walter Anderson, serenaded us all the way with spirituals and folk songs. It is always sad to see someone like Alan leave us.

DougR


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Alan Lomax-An Era Passes
From: simon-pierre
Date: 21 Jul 02 - 12:41 AM

"The incredible thing is that when you could play this material back to people, it change everything for them. They realize that their stuff and they are as good as anybody else. Then I found out that what I was really doing - and my father was really doing - was giving an avenue to these people to express themselves and their side of the story."

I've listen to these words a zillion times. They are from an interview of 1991 and opening "The Alan Lomax Collection Sampler" that I bought when it was published five years ago. That was my first encounter with the man and the beginning of a very particular and a very deep travel trough music. I could have say "american music" but the fact is that I discovered sounds that I would never approach otherwise, like or Spanish or Carribean music - I urge everyone to get his recordings of Neville "The Growling Tiger" Marcano... I'm speechless.

I remember that when I got this recordings, the first of an ever growing series, I thought that this man had the best life it is ever possible to live, travelling over the world, recording and listening to music and meeting people.
And when I knew he was dead, it is very naturally that I came here.

SP


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Alan Lomax-An Era Passes
From: Blackcatter
Date: 21 Jul 02 - 12:54 AM

I have a few wonderful recordings he made in Northern Ireland with a certain young boy named Tommy Makem sitting in with a local group of musicians in Tommy's mother's house.

I'm thinking of attending the funeral. It's only a 2 hour drive from Orlando. I assume it's open if the family has given the location & time on his website.

If I can make it, I'll wear my Mudcat t-shirt under my good shirt and jacket.

pax yall.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Alan Lomax-An Era Passes
From: Greycap
Date: 21 Jul 02 - 04:53 AM

Allan Lomax took me by my inexperienced musical hand and led me into more green fertile pastures. An amazing feat for a man I never had the delight of meeting in person. Sleep well, go rest high on the mountain.I'm crying as I type this


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Alan Lomax-An Era Passes
From: Deckman
Date: 21 Jul 02 - 07:37 AM

YEP! He had quite an influence and he was a force! Bob


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Alan Lomax-An Era Passes
From: nickp
Date: 21 Jul 02 - 01:57 PM

On behalf of FOAOTMAD (Friends of American Old Time Music and Dance) here in the UK, a sad loss of an enthusiast who must be responsible for a sizeable part of the enthusiasm over here

Nick Pilley (secretary)


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Alan Lomax-An Era Passes
From: Genie
Date: 21 Jul 02 - 02:27 PM

On CBS Sunday Morning today they replayed an interview (with film clips) with Alan Lomax from a few years ago. He had sound/film clips of music from all over the globe, and he had apparently said that his mission was to bring the music of the world to the listening public. No, it wasn't just American folk music he collected -- not by a long shot.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Alan Lomax-An Era Passes
From: GUEST,Ron Olesko
Date: 21 Jul 02 - 03:25 PM

During my radio program, TRADITIONS - www.wfdu.fm - today at approximately 5:30pm Eastern Time, we will be joined by Peggy Seeger who will help us remember and celebrate Alan's work and life.

Ron Olesko


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Alan Lomax-An Era Passes
From: vectis
Date: 21 Jul 02 - 07:57 PM

I have heard some of his field recordings played by Shirley Collins. She was lucky enough to collect some songs with him many years ago. She will be very upset at this news. Like many of you I bought his books in the 70s.
He and his kind saved huge chunks of our heritage just before they became lost forever.
Rest in Peace Alan.


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Subject: Alan Lomax
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 22 Jul 02 - 04:36 AM

Alan Lomax, who has died aged 87, created an archive of some of the most influential American folk and blues music, and was the first to record such artists as Muddy Waters, Leadbelly and Woodie Guthrie.
The pieces he collected have had an enormous influence on the development of popular music, from Bob Dylan to the dance musician Moby, whose recent album Play included three songs using Lomax's recordings.
Lomax collected folk music in Spain, Italy, the Caribbean and Britain. But most of his work was done in the Deep South and West of America; the Archive of American Folk Song, which he and his father compiled for the Library of American Congress, contains 15,000 songs from all over the country.

The above has been taken from a much longer article in today's Daily Telegraph 22 July 02

Nigel

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---Jeff (PA)---


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Alan Lomax-An Era Passes
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 22 Jul 02 - 07:55 AM

In another thread, Nigel Parsons gave a link to an obituary in the Daily Telegraph 22 July 2002
This is the longer thread so I am repeating the link here

I read an obit. in the Observer on Sunday (UK) which was more detailed than the Telegraph article, about Lomax collecting blues, about his difficulties during the McCarthy era of persecuting artists for alleged Communist sympathies, and about his years collecting songs in the British Isles. The Observer article also referred to the NY Times obit, which I expect is available on line to those who register at the NY Times website.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Alan Lomax-An Era Passes
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 22 Jul 02 - 08:03 AM

more links
LOMAX AS BUILDER OF FIKM ARCHIVES
Observer (UK) 21 July 2002


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