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Supercollectors: Lomax and 8-tracks

Friday, February 17, 2012

Supercollector Don Fleming of the Association for Cultural Equity joins us to talk about history’s ultimate supercollector, the late ethnomusicologist and folk historian Alan Lomax. Plus, Fleming talks about his own collection, which includes 15,000 albums, 10,000 45-rpm singles, laserdiscs, Edison discs, Betamax video tapes ... and more eight-track tapes than you'd expect.


Don Fleming

Comments [5]

jculpepper from NYC

To Bill from Brooklyn: According to Wikipedia: "When the [Harry Smith] Anthology was released, neither Folkways nor Smith possessed the licensing rights to these recordings, many of which had initially been issued by record companies that were still in existence, including Columbia and Paramount. The anthology thus technically qualifies as a high-profile bootleg. Folkways would later obtain some licensing rights, although the Anthology would not be completely licensed until the 1997 Smithsonian reissue.[3]"

I believe that during the late 1920s and early 30s that record publishers often did not pay royalties to what were known as 'hillbilly" and "country" performers, which was what the Harry Smith recordings would have been. Neither did Harry Smith nor Folkways pay royalties to the performers, as far as I know.

Feb. 17 2012 08:38 PM

Recognized it immediately,

All of a sudden the beginning of Sketches Of Spain seems even more brilliant!

Totally Miles!

Feb. 17 2012 02:23 PM
Linda Griggs from les

I got to play with the Global Jukebox once when I worked at the Lomax Archives for a summer.
I finally got to see how close Flamenco was to the Blues based on Cantometrics (phrase lenth, tempo, etc) and although you always hear that Flamenco is Spain's blues it turns out they're not very close at all. There's some Pacific Island music that's much closer.

Feb. 17 2012 02:21 PM
Bill from Brooklyn

When Alan was collecting these field recordings, they were for the purpose of research and archiving. I know when Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music" was re-issued, efforts had to be made to find these artists (or their estates) and pay royalties (which hadn't previously been done).

In making Lomax's recordings available, have there been any hurdles in finding artists descendants and and clearing royalties?

Feb. 17 2012 02:18 PM
Bernie from NYC

Growing up, I used to listen to Lomax recordings in my school library. The wealth of music is incredible. It lead me to Leadbelly, Blind Willie Johnson, Joseph Spence, the Garland Encyclopedia of World Music. With the digital era, I have tracked down some recordings, but this is really exciting.

Feb. 17 2012 02:15 PM

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