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Folk Music Albums Available on CD
Library of Congress and Rounder Records
Folk Music Compact Discs
The Library of Congress and Rounder Records have
joined together in a project to reissue on compact discs American folk music
from the legendary Library of Congress series Folk Music of the United States.
The original series, launched in 1942, was the first documentary anthology of
American folk music featuring field recordings drawn from the Library's Archive
of Folk Culture.
In a separate project, musician Stephen Wade has produced a single CD anthology entitled A
Treasury of Library of Congress Field Recordings. This CD provides an excellent introduction to the early
collections of the Archive, as well as a glimpse of American musical history
of the period.
The following links connect to information provided by the Library
of Congress Sales Shop, except as noted. The Library assumes no responsibility
for information provided on other sites.
Treasury of Library of Congress Field Recordings (Rounder CD 1500) Anthology of field recordings from the collections of
the Archive of Folk Culture 1933-46. Selected, annotated, and produced by
Stephen Wade, 1997.
Blues and Hollers (Rounder CD 1501) Originally edited by Marshall Sterns and issued in 1962,
this CD features African American musical traditions from the Mississippi
Delta country, recorded in 1941-42 by Alan Lomax from the Library of Congress
and John W. Work and Lewis Jones from Fisk University.
and Ballads of the Anthracite Miners (Rounder CD 1502) This CD features the "minstals of the mine patch" in
the Pennsylvania anthracite region. Originally recorded and edited by George
Korson in 1946-47.
and Ballads of the Bituminous Miners (Rounder CD 1522) A companion to Songs and Ballads of the Anthracite Miners,
this album of mining songs, documented in 1940 by "folklorist of the coal
fields" George Korson, presents the performances of bituminous (soft coal)
miners, from the time before automation drastically changed the way their
work was done.
Harp Singing (Rounder CD 1503) Recorded at the thirty-seventh annual session of the
Alabama Sacred Harp Singing Convention at Birmingham, Alabama, by George
Pullen Jackson and Alan Lomax, 1942.
Hammons Family: The Traditions of a West Virginia Family and Their Friends (Rounder CD 1504/1505) A study of the music and way of life of a West Virginia
Family, coedited by Alan Jabbour and Carl Fleischhauer. This two-CD set incorporates
two 1973 publications; the Library of Congress double LP set The Hammons
Family and the Rounder Records LP Shaking Down the Acorns.
of the Heav'nly King: Religious Expression in the Central Blue Ridge (Rounder 1506/1507) Recordings made by the Blue Ridge Parkway Folklife
Project, a study conducted by the American Folklife Center with the National
Park Service, 1978/1979i, edited by Charles K. Wolfe. The two-CD set presents
a cross-section of the region's religious expression, including hymn-singing,
prayer, and sermons from church services; performances of gospel music, a
baptism at a creek, and stories of religious conversion. An enclosed booklet
describes the region and its religious expression and annotates each of the
Songs and Ballads (Rounder CD 1508) Recorded by sixteen different collectors between 1936
and 1959, this anthology includes songs about the construction of the railroad
and railroading as a craft, as well as songs that tap the symbolic significance
of the train.
and Ballads of American History and of the Assassination of Presidents (Rounder CD 1509) An anthology of recordings from the Archive of Folk Culture
dealing with the Civil War and the assassination of American heads of state,
the latter category taken from a large body of recordings made by Bascom
Lamar Lunsford. Recorded by John Lomax, Duncan Emrich, and others, 1937-42.
Spirituals, Worksongs, and Ballads (Rounder CD 1510) Powerful performances of African Americans at work and
in worship, recorded in 1933 and 1939 by John A. Lomax, traveling across
the rural South for the Library of Congress.
Ballads, Volume One (Rounder CD 1511) Originally released in 1942, edited by Alan Lomax, this
the first in the Library's series Folk Music of the United States.
Includes such recorded treasures as Woody Guthrie's "The Gypsy Davy," Pete
Steele's "Pretty Polly," and versions of "The House Carpenter" and "Barbara
Ballads, Volume Two (Rounder CD 1516) Originally released in 1943, edited by Benjamin Botkin.
Successor to Alan Lomax's Volume One, this CD includes "The Golden Willow
Tree," "The Two Sisters," and "Lord Thomas and the Fair Ellender."
Songs, Ballads, and Cattle Calls from Texas (Rounder CD 1512) Edited by Duncan Emrich, this album was originally released
in 1952. All but two of the selections on this CD were recorded on portable
equipment by John A. Lomax, the greatest collector of cowboy songs in the
West. Includes "Good-bye, Old Paint," "The Texas Rangers," and "The Streets
Blues and Game Songs (Rounder CD 1513) Edited by pioneer collector Alan Lomax, this set includes
such recorded treasures as the first transcriptions of Muddy Waters, Sonny
Terry in his prime, as well as blues and children's songs by lesser known
but just as accomplished performers.
Religious Songs and Services (Rounder CD 1514) This album presents performances that have become benchmarks
for the grand tradition of African America religious expression. They were
recorded between 1934 and 1942 for the Library of Congress by John Lomax
and his son, Alan Lomax, as they criss-crossed the Southern states in search
of authentic Southern folk music. Their quest yielded some of the finest
exemplars of African American sacred song ever gathered in a single collection.
Folk Music from Tate and Panola Counties, Mississippi (Rounder CD 1515) This album presents an amazing array of African American
folk music from the small farms and traditional rural communities of Tate
and Panola Counties in the Mississippi Hill Country, just east of the more
famous Delta region. The album features two generations of African American
music-making, recorded by Alan Lomax in 1942 and by David Evans in 1969-71.
Work Songs and Calls (Rounder CD 1517) Among the root traditions of African American music are
the traditions of song and chant associated with the world of men's work.
This classic album of field recordings from the 1930s and 1940s captures
the imaginative call-and-response work songs of Southern prison camps, the
soulful proto-blues of cornfield hollers, the creative energy of track-lining
songs used by Southern railroad crews, and the calls used to sound the river
depth on Mississippi riverboats (including the traditional sounding call "mark
twain"). Also included are boat-launching songs featuring the sponge-fishing
communities of the Bahamas.
Fiddle Tunes (Rounder CD 1518) Edited by Alan Jabbour, this album was originally released
in 1971. The 28 fiddle performances are drawn from the vast array of field
recordings in the Library's Archive of Folk Culture from the 1930s and 1940s.
From New England to Wisconsin, from Kentucky and Mississippi to California,
the convey the range, energy, and creativity of one of America's most vigorous
and enduring folk traditions.
of the Mormons and Songs of the West (Rounder CD 1520) The traditional Mormon songs on this CD go back in time
to the very earliest days of settlement and pioneering and are, for the opening
of Utah and the West, extraordinarily unique documents. Songs of this nature,
dealing with early pioneering and settlement, are virtually non-existent
for any other state in the Union. Songs and ballads of the West reflect many
aspects of Western life, ranging from peaceful pursuits to outlaw life and
frontier Indian warfare.
Music from Wisconsin (Rounder CD 1521) In the 1940s, the Wisconsin Folk Music Recording Project,
sponsored by the Library of Congress and the University of Wisconsin, took
Helene Stratman-Thomas and other fieldworkers on a collecting expedition
around Wisconsin to document a folk music that reflects the colorful pattern
of immigration and and occupational development in the state.
- American Sea Songs and Sea Shanties (Rounder CD 1519) The songs and shanties on this album are all sung, without exception, by men who used them in the days of sail. With the advent of steam and the end of sail, any practical use for these sea songs disappeared only in the memory of old-timers. The old-timers themselves have passed on, leaving these recordings as their legacy.
Records has also produced several other CD compilations of music from collections
in the Archive of Folk Culture. Following are selections currently found in
Rounder Records' online catalog.
- Sacred Music
of the Moroccan Jews from the Paul Bowles Collection (Rounder CD 5087) In 1959, Paul Bowles recorded in Morocco a wide variety
of music from the different ethnic groups of that country, including the
Jewish communities of Meknes and Essaouira. Edited by Edwin Seroussi, with
the assistance of Rabbi Meir Atiya, one of the leading authorities and performers
of Moroccan Jewish religious music in Israel today, this CD set presents
a rare glimpse into one of the most venerable Jewish musical traditions.
Roll Morton (4 volume series) (Rounder CD 1091, 1092, 1093, 1094)
- Leadbelly (6
volume series) (Rounder CD 1044, 1045, 1046 and 1097, 1098, 1099)
Black Stringband Music from the Library of Congress (Rounder CD 0238)
- Library of Congress Banjo
Collection (Rounder Audiocassette 0237)
Guthrie: Library of Congress Recordings (Rounder CD 1041)