- Publisher: West Virginia University Press
- Format: CD-Audio
- Dimensions: 124mm x 140mm x 10mm | 23g
- Publication date: 1 February 2012
- ISBN 10: 1933202335
- ISBN 13: 9781933202334
- Sales rank: 1,958,826
In 1933, John Lomax and his young son Alan traveled by car to a number of prisons scattered throughout Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee. In the nation's most restricted spaces, they recorded African-American convicts, who Lomax thought would be some of the last singers of traditional folk material due to the isolation of the institutions that held them. As a result of this fieldwork, we now have access to a multitude of powerful songs, both well and little known, which provide some understanding of this folk group during the era of Jim Crow in America's South.
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"During his brief life as an organizer and songwriter, John Handcox played a vital role in bettering the lives of sharecroppers and energizing labor union organizers and members. His songs stimulated action at the time and have come down through the decades as stirring anthems of the Depression years... These recordings are highly recommended for both students and scholars." Ronald D. Cohen, "Journal of American Folklore"."..an enlightening [CD] that honors this important folk hero." Lee Blackstone, "RootsWorld""[Those] who derive inspiration from the vision of such great American figures as Mother Jones and Woody Guthrie will definitely want this exemplary release." Duck Baker, "Dirty Linen"