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1907 __ Folk field recordings — Texas A&M 1907
John (Avery) (1875-1948)
Comment : John Lomax began his project at Texas A&M 1907 to collect cowboy songs, funded by a Sheldon Fellowship from Harvard, and completed in 1909 the text for "Cowboy Songs of the Mexican Border" that was published in 1910 as "Cowboy Songs and other Frontier Ballads" that included many songs mailed to him or found in newspapers and scrapbooks. Some songs in the book had been recorded on cylinders, including "Home on the Range" that Lomax recorded from a black saloon keeper in San Antonio on an Edison cylinder. In Dec. 1932 he met Robert W. Gordon who founded the Library's Archive of American Folk Song 1928 and experimented with different recording methods, from wire to movie film; Lomax commissioned Walter Garwick to make a machine that could playback disc master immediately in the field for $450, cheaper than a Fairchild or Amplion portable recorder, but the machine would always have problems. Instead, Lomax got a cylinder Dictaphone in June,1933, that he and his son Alan began to use in Texas (he would confuse this Dictaphone with Edison and often called it an Edison machine). He recorded "Deep River" on a trip to the Brazos, "Rock Island Line" by Huddie Ledbetter with his 12-string guitar. By mid-1937 the Library of Congress had 4000 folk songs on 1314 cylinders and discs including over 1000 cylinders and discs from Lomax. (Southern Mosaic: The John and Ruby Lomax 1939 Southern States Recording Trip from the Library of Congress American Memory)
Source : Brady, Erika (1985), "The Box That Got the Flourishes: The Cylinder Phonograph in Folklore Fieldwork, 1890-1937." Ph.D. dissertation, Indiana University.
Source : Brady, Erika (1999), “A Spiral Way: How the Phonograph Changed Ethnography”, Jackson, Miss. : University Press of Mississippi.
Source : Peterson, Richard A. (1997), “Creating Country Music: Fabricating Authenticity”, Chicago: University of Chicago.
Source : Porterfield, Nolan (1996), “Last Cavalier: the Life and Times of John A. Lomax, 1867-1948”, Urbana: University of Illinois Press.
Source : Lomax, John A. (1947), “Adventures of a Ballad Hunter”, New York: Macmillan Co..
Urls : http://history.sandiego.edu/gen/recording/field.html (last visited ) http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/lohtml/lohome.html (last visited )

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