England and Wales 1951–1958

1951 to 1958
United Kingdom
"The vigor and charm of these living English folk songs may surprise most listeners, perhaps most of all the British" wrote Alan Lomax in his 1952 introduction to the England volume of Columbia Records' World Library of Folk and Primitive Music. While many of this collection's recordings were made by Lomax and Peter Kennedy (who was concurrently working on behalf of the BBC's "Folk Music and Dialect Recording Scheme") for release in that set, also included here are dubs made by Alan from the BBC's Recorded Programmes Library and commercially released 78s (e.g., Phil Tanner and Stanley Slade), some of which also appeared on the LP. In addition to revival singers like Ewan MacColl and A.L. "Bert" Lloyd, this collection features mummers' plays and Christmas pageants; instrumentals for melodeon, fiddle, and Northumbrian small-pipes; and extensive recordings of traditional singers Harry Cox of Yarmouth in Norfolk and the regular ballad-swappers at the Ship Inn in Blaxhall, Suffolk. The Welsh sessions were made among former and current miners - singing and telling stories and jokes - at the Miners' Club in Treorchy.

While making recordings, Alan Lomax took a small selection of photos of Cox, the Ship Inn singers, and the traveling ventriloquist Eddie Sanger.