Description of Alan Lomax's Work:
Recommended Writings by Alan Lomax:
Recommended CDs by Alan Lomax:
Alan Lomax: Popular Songbook (Rounder Select)
The Complete Library of Congress Recordings by Alan Lomax (Rounder Records)
Alan Lomax Biography:
Lomax is probably best known, though, for his extensive interviewing of artists like Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly, Jelly Roll Morton, and others for the Library of Congress Archive of Folk Culture.
In addition to focusing on the folk music of the American south, Lomax also chronicled plenty of Irish folk music, as well as other folk music from Italy and elsewhere around the world. In the mid-to-late 1950s, he traveled around the south recording folk artists and folk songs for a collection eventually published by Atlantic records, called Songs of the South. These tunes were later put to work in the film O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Lomax was also under suspicion of being a communist during the McCarthy era, when he left the country and spent some time in Europe studying folk music. Encyclopedia Brittanica calls him "one of the most dedicated and knowledgeable folk-music scholars of the 20th century." Along with his sister Bess, he was a member of the groundbreaking labor rights group the Almanac Singers.
Lomax has received awards from the Library of Congress, the National Book Critics Circle, and the Grammy Trustees.