16 episodes

"Been All Around This World" explores the breadth and depth of folklorist Alan Lomax's seven decades of field recordings. From the earliest trips he made through the American South with his father, John A. Lomax, beginning in 1933, to his last documentary work in the early 1990s, the program will present seminal artists and performances alongside obscure, unidentified, and previously unheard singers and players, from around America and the world, drawn from the Lomax Collection at the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress. It is produced and hosted by Nathan Salsburg, curator of the Alan Lomax Archive at the Association for Cultural Equity, the non-profit research center and advocacy organization that Lomax founded in 1983. (Photo of Alan Lomax by Peter Figlestahler.)

Been All Around This World Alan Lomax Archive

    • Music
    • 4.8 • 40 Ratings

"Been All Around This World" explores the breadth and depth of folklorist Alan Lomax's seven decades of field recordings. From the earliest trips he made through the American South with his father, John A. Lomax, beginning in 1933, to his last documentary work in the early 1990s, the program will present seminal artists and performances alongside obscure, unidentified, and previously unheard singers and players, from around America and the world, drawn from the Lomax Collection at the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress. It is produced and hosted by Nathan Salsburg, curator of the Alan Lomax Archive at the Association for Cultural Equity, the non-profit research center and advocacy organization that Lomax founded in 1983. (Photo of Alan Lomax by Peter Figlestahler.)

    16 - Sing Christmas and the Turn of the Year

    16 - Sing Christmas and the Turn of the Year

    An expansion of our Christmas and New Year episode of a few years back with extra tracks and more all around cheer. Links are to tracks' records in the Lomax Digital Archive. Those without them are either not Lomax recordings, or not yet included in...

    • 2 hr 21 min
    15 - "Trials, Troubles, Tribulations"

    15 - "Trials, Troubles, Tribulations"

    Our eschatological episode of the program. Songs on final things: the end of the world, the end of time, judgement day, "when the stars begin to fall," etc.Playlist (links to catalog records in the L...

    • 1 hr 3 min
    14 - "When I'm Gone, Gone": South Carolina, 1934–1940

    14 - "When I'm Gone, Gone": South Carolina, 1934–1940

    (Scroll down for playlist and links to resources mentioned.)This episode provides an introduction to the singers and sites visited by John A. Lomax in the Palmetto State between 1934 and 1940, on the occasion of...:

    • 28 min
    13 - Songs and stories for Halloween

    13 - Songs and stories for Halloween

    [Bed music:]Sid Hemphill and band: The Death March (Quitman Co., Mississippi, August 1942 (https://archive.culturalequity.org/node/1300)).Mr. & Mrs. Boyd Hoskins: Ah, Lovely Appearance of Death (Horse Creek, Clay Co., Kentucky, October 1942 (https://archive.culturalequity.org/node/1269))Bessie Jones: Oh Death (St. Simons Island, Georgia, October 1959 (https://archive.culturalequity.org/node/878))Nimrod Workman: O Death (Mascot, Tennessee, July 1983 (https://archive.culturalequity.org/taxonomy/term/7842))Bessie Jones tells a story of a woman enduring a night’s worth of ghostly trials (NYC, October 1961 (https://archive.culturalequity.org/node/1050))Sheila Kay Adams: Little Margaret (Burton Cove, Sodom Laurel, Madison Co., North Carolina, September 1982 (https://archive.culturalequity.org/taxonomy/term/7706))Unidentified woman: funeral lament (Santo Stefano di Sessanio, Abruzzo, Italy, December 1954)Liborio Garanfa (guitar) and Giuseppe Gavita (violin and vocal) (Scanno, Abruzzo, Italy, December 1954)Almeda Riddle: The House Carpenter (Heber Springs, Arkansas, October 1959 (https://archive.culturalequity.org/node/912))Jeannie Robertson: Bonny Annie and Andrew Lammie, followed by a story of her own encounter with a spirit (London, November 1953 (https://archive.culturalequity.org/node/57797))Texas Gladden tells a story of her grandfather’s experience in haunted house during the Civil War (Decca Studios, NYC, 1946 (https://archive.culturalequity.org/node/803))We considered including these two relevant and wonderful pieces that aren’t directly Lomax-related – enjoy them here instead: Burl Hammons: Turkey In the Straw, learned from an apparition, as he explains. (Recorded by Carl Fleischauer and Dwight Diller at Pocahontas Co., West Virginia, April 1970. Scroll down here (https://blogs.loc.gov/folklife/2014/05/turkey-in-the-straw/) for audio.)Billie Maxwell: The Haunted Hunter (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTCxT_B0J1A) (Victor Records session, El Paso, Texas, July 1929. Maxwell was a native of New Mexico, living at the time in Arizona.) 

    • 1 hr 8 min
    12 - The Edinburgh People's Festival Ceilidh, 70 years later

    12 - The Edinburgh People's Festival Ceilidh, 70 years later

    August 30, 2021, is the 70-year anniversary of the 1951 Edinburgh People’s Festival Ceilidh, the seminal event that heralded and generated the Scottish Folk Revival of the 1960s. Alan Lomax was on hand to record it in the Oddfellows Hall, and thus able to preserve a document of a legendary concert that alerted the astonished urban audience to the continuing vitality of Scotland’s rich heritage of traditional song. People in the rich folk culture of the Gaelic-speaking West, or speaking the Doric accent of the North East, still held and sang their vibrant old ballads and songs of work, but the Central Belt city folk thought the songs entombed in old books. Until the Ceilidh. This podcast presents the (near) entirety* of Alan Lomax's recordings of the event. This audio is considerably inconsistent volume-wise, as quiet singers were typically received with thunderous applause (for which Lomax kept his finger on the fader of his recording machine). And it is presented here raw (unmastered), so headphone-users, be warned! The episode functions as an audio accompaniment to the Lomax Digital Archive's new exhibit (https://archive.culturalequity.org/1951ceilidh), curated by folklorist Ewan McVicar, which annotates the Ceilidh program song-by-song, and pairs more recent interpretations of those songs by revival singers in Scotland and further afield. We're pleased to say that two new recordings have been provided exclusively for the exhibit, by the fine singers Christine Kidd and Alasdair Roberts (who is also a guitarist/composer extraordinaire).*We omit the lengthy vote of thanks given in Gaelic by the Rev. Duncan. Also, note that some performances/commentaries were truncated by tape running out, and that Lomax missed recording the introductory piping by James Burgess.

    • 2 hr 9 min
    11 - "Making It In Hell": Parchman Farm, 1933–1969

    11 - "Making It In Hell": Parchman Farm, 1933–1969

    Brutality and inhumanity were central to the Southern state prison farms, in their theory and their practice, and of them all, the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman Farm was the most brutal and inhuman. Both John A. and Alan Lomax made repe...

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
40 Ratings

40 Ratings

mountainsofmoss ,

One-of-a-kind

Seeing this fine podcast back in my feed for a second season was like a small gift as I began my commute this morning. Host Salsburg takes a lot of care in his preparation and delivery of some of the most unique content currently offered in the podosphere. While Season 1 seemed to take a ‘less talk more rock’ approach, this first episode of Season 2 goes a more in-depth on the history behind the musical selections and how they came to be heard by lucky folks like you and me. As someone who has spent a good deal of time with the Lomax recordings, I really appreciate this additional context and insight from someone who is directly linked to the all of the work that goes into preserving and presenting the archive. Well done.

Odysseus711 ,

Well done

Keep up the great work, Nathan. Can’t wait to hear more!

Mr.Ishtar ,

Excellent presentation of essential music

A fun and detailed exploration of Lomax’s important work! I’m looking forward to more episodes.

As an audio engineer (I run the Orchard Recording Studio Podcast), I’m very interested in the equipment that Lomax chose to travel with throughout the decades. Just in case you can cover any of that. :)

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