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South Carolina 1934-1940

Recordings made between 1934 and 1940 by John A. Lomax. Lomax visited South Carolina several times as a guest of folklorist Genevieve W. Chandler in Murrells Inlet, who introduced her to some of the renowned singers in the Gullah community there: among them Zackie Knox, Lillie Knox, and Hagar ("Mom Hagar") Brown. Additionally representing Gullah traditions of the region in these recordings are Caesar Roper and the Wadmalaw Island singers who participated in Rosa Warren Wilson's "Plantation Echoes" program, which Lomax recorded in Columbia in 1937. White singers also contributed during the sessions at Chandler's home with children's songs, contemporary hillbilly numbers, and ballads. Lomax recorded incarcerated men and women at the Reid Farm in rural Kershaw County and at the state penitentiary in Columbia, singing group work songs, sacred pieces, and the occasional blues. Two WPA ditch-digging crews appear in these recordings, one from the Murrells Inlet area and the other from Clemson; this latter group Lomax recorded at the home of South Carolina journalist and memoirist Ben Robertson. The audio heard here is edited from the Library of Congress' preservation reels (1/4" reel-to-reel tape), made in the 1970s from the original discs. It was cataloged and is presented in collaboration with the American Folklife Center and, in the case of the Murrells Inlet and Wadmalaw Island material, the Charles Joyner Institute for Gullah and African Studies at Coastal Carolina University.

Columbia 5/36

Columbia 11/40

Mullins 7/37

Reid Farm 12/34

Reid Farm 5/36

Murrells Inlet 8/36

Sandy Island 8/36

Murrells Inlet 6/39

Murrells Inlet 7/37

Greenville 6/39

Anderson County 6/39

Clemson 6/39

Columbia 7/37

Charleston 7/37

Murrells Inlet 1/37

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