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Negro Prison Blues & Songs


Price: £10.25 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
Only 1 left in stock.
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
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£10.25 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details Only 1 left in stock. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

Negro Prison Blues & Songs + Prison Songs, Vol. 1: Murderous Home + The Land Where the Blues Began
Price For All Three: £42.48

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Product details

  • Audio CD (7 May 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Collectables
  • ASIN: B000NVIXRI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 126,832 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mick Gold on 13 Oct. 2011
Verified Purchase
The indefatigable Alan Lomax re-visited the Mississippi State Penitentiary, Parchman, in May 1947, twelve years after he had first recorded the prisoners' singing, accompanied by his father John Lomax. Alan Lomax was funded by a Guggenheim Fellowship. He discovered that many of the old song forms had died out, but he still found several powerful performers. It is hard to do justice to how many much marvelous music Lomax managed to capture, lugging heavy recording machines into hostile prisons. In his writing, Lomax tried to draw attention to the brutality that still permeated the prisons of the South. He was not able to publish a full account until 1993, when his book "The Land Where The Blues Began" finally appeared. Nonetheless beneath the brutality and the forced labour, he recorded many moments of beauty. He wrote, "When I transcribe them from the field recordings, I am always reminded of ancient Greek literature. And this spare and plangent worksong verse is plainly the main source of the poetry of the blues."

In December 1947, Lomax returned to Parchman. This time he had permission to follow the men into the fields. While he was recording, a blizzard struck the farm and the men stood in the woodyard in six inches of snow bawling out "Rosie":
Be my woman, gal, I'll be your man
Be my woman, gal, I'll be your man
Be my woman, gal, I'll be your man
Every day be Sunday, dollar in your hand

More info about Lomax's remarkable life can be found in John Szwed's excellent biography, The Man Who Recorded the World: A Biography of Alan Lomax
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A. Thomson on 22 May 2010
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When the title says 'by Alan Lomax' it means, of course COLLECTED by the folklorist Alan Lomax from prisoners in the Mississippi and Louisiana state penitentiaries! From what you can read on Wikipedia, it seems likely that the recordings were made before 1950 - probably well before. Despite the obvious technical limitations, the recordings do capture an authentic range of unaccompanied songs as sung by prisoners working the fields.

The irritation is that this CD's sleeve notes are so disappointingly uninformative. One would think the label would realise that the only people likely to buy this kind of music would like to know more of the details behind it.

I won't complain too much though because the price of this slice of audio history (just short of 70 minutes of it) is pretty low!
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Treat Yourself...You can't Guess what this Sounds like...Chills up the Spine...Fabulous indeed.
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By Hryzko on 25 Dec. 2014
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Items as described and delivered on time.
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8 of 13 people found the following review helpful By W. Bolden on 3 Dec. 2010
Anyone who would like to find out more about these recordings should take a look at Shirley Collins' book
"America Over The Water" which documents the time she spent on field recording trips with Lomax in the late 50's. The book also gives a great insight into life in early post war Britain.
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