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Alan Lomax

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Birthday: Jan 31, 1915

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A musicologist who brought once-obscure blues and folk musicians into the mainstream eye, Alan Lomax has been referred to as the "father of the American folk song revival" for his introduction of such folk heavies as Woody Guthrie, Burl Ives, and Pete Seeger to the masses via radio in the 1930s and '40s. Born in Austin, TX, in January 1915, young Alan worked with father John Avery early on, a collaboration that eventually morphed into a notable effort to develop the Library of Congress' Archive of Folk Song. Soon producing folk musicians across the country, the duo quickly became noted for their comprehensive releases of folk music in addition to penning what were considered definitive books on the subject. Later obtaining a philosophy degree from the University of Texas in addition to completing graduate work in anthropology at Columbia, Lomax would be appointed director of the Folk Archive as well as produce a series of CBS national radio programs. On television, Lomax's Back Where I Came From program served a similar purpose as his radio program, and a concert series entitled The Midnight Special brought memorable live folk performances to television for unfamiliar audiences to enjoy. An 18-volume overview of world folk music released in the 1950s only reinforced his image as the authority on the subject, and an analytic system designed for cross-cultural reference created the following decade proved Lomax's unending dedication to the subject had only strengthened with age. His sole foray into film, The Longest Trail (1986), studied the Amerindians of North and South America, and a PBS miniseries entitled American Patchwork paved the way for a reissuing to many of Lomax's collections in the 1990s. Moving into the new millennium, two songs from an early Lomax collection, "Po Lazarus" and "Didn't Leave Nobody but the Baby," were featured on the Grammy-winning soundtrack to the film O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000). On July 19, 2002, Alan Lomax died in his Safety Harbor, FL, home. He was 87.



No Score Yet Lomax the Songhunter Actor 2004
No Score Yet American Patchwork Director 1992
No Score Yet Jazz Parades: Feet Don't Fail Me Now Director 1990
No Score Yet Chester Zardis: The Spirit of New Orleans Actor 1989


No Score Yet POV
Appearing 2006


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