Jail House Bound: John Lomax's First Southern Prison Recordings, 1933

 
Jail House Bound

Mark Allan Jackson
February 2012
24 tracks
Interview with Lomax
CD 978-1-933202-33-4
$12.99

Summary

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.

Tracklist

  1. Rattler by Mose “Clear Rock” Platt
  2. That’s Alright, Honey by Mose “Clear Rock” Platt
  3. The Midnight Special by Ernest “Mexico” Williams
  4. Ain’t No More Cane on the Brazos by Ernest “Mexico” Williams 1933
  5. Ain’t No More Cane on the Brazos by Ernest “Mexico” Williams with James “Iron Head” Baker
  6. My Yellow Gal by James “Iron Head” Baker with R.D. Allen and Will Crosby
  7. Black Betty by James “Iron Head” Baker with R.D. Allen and Will Crosby
  8. The Grey Goose by James “Iron Head” Baker with R.D. Allen and Will Crosby
  9. Long Gone by “Lightning” Washington
  10. Long John by “Lightning” Washington
  11. Good God Almighty by “Lightning” Washington
  12. Stewball
  13. John Henry
  14. He Never Said a Mumbling Word
  15. Rosie
  16. Alabama Bound by “Bowlegs”
  17. Jumpin Judy
  18. John Henry
  19. Jumpin Judy by Allen Prothero
  20. Sit Down, Servant by Adie Corbin and Ed Frierson
  21. Levee Camp Holler by John “Black Sampson” Gibson
  22. Track Lining Song by John “Black Sampson” Gibson
  23. Steel Laying Holler by Rochelle Harris
  24. Interview with John Lomax 1933

Author

John Lomax (1867-1948) was an American teacher, a pioneering musicologist and folklorist  who did much for the preservation of American folk songs.

Mark Allan Jackson is Associate Professor of Folklore and English at Middle Tennessee State University who specializes in political expression in American music.  He has published essays, reviews, and commentaries in such journals as American MusicThe Journal of American HistoryPopular Music and SocietyThe Journal of American FolkloreJournal of Folklore Research, and The Tennessee Folklore Society Bulletin

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