Note: Alan Lomax first went song hunting with his father on summer when he was 17, in 1933, at Smathers Plantation, on the Trinity River near Huntsville, Texas. They went to collect black folk music. The plantation manager got some 40 sharecroppers, mostly barefoot and in rags, together in an old school house. They had a crank-up cylinder dictaphone and cylinders were expensive. The man, called "Blue" who was chosen to sing refused to sing a them a sample tryout and said he would only sing while being recorded. He thought he would be talking directly to the White House. With his overseer sitting in the back, he began a complaint about the way they were being treated: "Hey, Mr. President … ."
About the session: A lecture and performance given by Alan Lomax in Texas City, Texas, on April 19, 1969. Lomax illustrates the development of American folk music through New England hymns to Black spirituals and bad-man ballads. The recording was given to Lomax by Robert P. Shinn.
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