Alan Lomax (January 31, 1915
– July 19, 2002) was an American folklorist and ethnomusicologist. He was one of the
great field collectors of folk music of the 20th century, recording
thousands of songs in the United States, Great
Britain, Ireland, the
Caribbean, Italy, and
Lomax was the son of pioneering folklorist and author John A. Lomax, with whom
he started his career by recording songs sung by sharecroppers and
prisoners in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Because of frail health he was mostly home
schooled but for one year attended The Choate School in Wallingford,
He enrolled at the University of Texas in
1930 at the age of fifteen and the following year studied
philosophy at Harvard but upon his mother's death interrupted his
education to console his father and join him on his folk song
collecting field trips. He subsequently earned a degree in philosophy
from the University of Texas at Austin and later did graduate studies with Melville J. Herskovits at Columbia University and with Ray Birdwhistell at the University of
To some, he is best known for his theories
, Choreometrics, and
Parlametrics, elaborated from 1960 until his death with the help of
collaborators Victor Grauer, Conrad Arensberg, Forrestine Paulay,
and Roswell Rudd
to 1942 Lomax was Assistant in Charge of the Archive of Folk Song
of the Library of
Congress to which he and his father and numerous
collaborators contributed more than ten thousand field
During his lifetime, he collected folk music
from the United States, Haiti, the Caribbean, Ireland, Great
Britain, Spain, and Italy, assembling a treasure trove of American
and international culture.
A pioneering oral historian, he also recorded substantial
interviews with many legendary folk musicians, including Woody Guthrie
, Muddy Waters
, Jelly Roll Morton
, Irish singer Margaret Barry
ballad singer Jeannie Robertson
, and Harry Cox
of Norfolk, England, among many others.
After the bombing of Pearl Harbor he took his recording machine
into the streets to capture the reactions of everyday citizens.
While serving in the army in World War II he made numerous radio
programs in connection with the war effort. The 1944 "ballad
opera," The Martins and the Coys
, broadcast in Britain
(but not the USA) by the BBC
, featuring Burl Ives
, Will Geer
, Sonny Terry
, and Fiddlin' Arthur
, among others, was released on Rounder Records in
He also produced recordings, concerts, and radio
shows, in the U.S and in England, which played
an important role in both the American
and British folk revivals
of the 1940s,
'50s and early '60s. In the late 1940s, he produced a highly
regarded series of folk music albums for Decca records and
organized a series of concerts at New York's Town Hall and Carnegie
Hall, featuring blues, Calypso, and Flamenco music. He also hosted
a radio show, Your Ballad Man
, from 1945-49 that was
broadcast nationwide on the Mutual Radio Network and featured a
highly eclectic program, from gamelan
to Django Reinhardt
, to Klezmer
music, to Sidney
and Wild Bill Davison
to jazzy pop songs by Maxine
and Jo Stafford
readings of the poetry of Carl
, to hillbilly music with electric guitars, to Finnish
brass bands – to name a few.
Lomax spent the 1950s based in London, from where he edited the
18-volume Columbia World Library of Folk and Primitive
, an anthology issued on newly-invented LP records. For
the British and Irish volumes, he worked with the BBC and
folklorists Peter Douglas
, Scots poet Hamish
, and with Séamus
in Ireland, where they recorded Irish traditional
musicians, including some of the songs in English and Irish of
in 1951. He also
hosted a folk music show on BBC's home service and organized a
group, Alan Lomax and the Ramblers
(who included Ewan MacColl, Peggy
, and Shirley Collins
among others) which appeared on British television. His ballad
opera Big Rock Candy Mountain
premiered December 1955 at
's Theater Workshop
and featured Ramblin' Jack
Lomax and Diego Carpitella
of Italian folk music
Columbia World Library
, conducted in 1953 and 1954, with
the cooperation of the BBC and the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in
Rome, helped capture a snapshot of a multitude of important
traditional folk styles shortly before they disappeared. The pair
amassed one of the most representative folk song collections of any
culture. From Lomax's Spanish and Italian recordings emerged one of
the first theories explaining the types of folk singing that
predominate in particular areas, a theory that incorporates work
style, the environment, and the degrees of social and sexual
return to New York in 1959, Lomax produced a concert, Folksong '59," in Carnegie Hall, featuring Arkansas singer Jimmy Driftwood; the Selah Jubilee Singers and Drexel
Singers (gospel groups); Muddy Waters
and Memphis Slim (blues); Earl Taylor
and the Stoney Mountain Boys (bluegrass); Pete Seeger, Mike
Seeger (urban folk revival); and The
Cadillacs (a rock and roll group).
The occasion marked
the first time rock and roll and bluegrass were performed on the
Carnegie Hall Stage. "The time has come for Americans not to be
ashamed of what we go for, musically, from primitive ballads to
rock 'n' roll songs," Lomax told the audience. According to
, the audience booed when he
told them to lay down their prejudices and listen to rock 'n' roll.
In Young's opinion, "Lomax put on what is probably the turning
point in American folk music . . . . At that concert, the point he
was trying to make was that Negro and white music were mixing, and
rock and roll was that thing."
Alan Lomax married Elizabeth Harold in February 1937. They were
married for 12 years and had a daughter, Anna. Elizabeth assisted
him in recording in Haiti, Alabama, Appalachia, and Mississippi,
and wrote radio scripts of folk operas featuring American music
that were broadcast over the BBC home service as part of the war
effort, as well as conducting lengthy interviews with folk music
personalities. He also did important field work with Elizabeth
Barnicle and Zora Neale Hurston
in Florida and the Bahamas (1936); with John Work and Lewis Jones
in Mississippi (1941 and 42; with folksingers Robin Roberts and
in Ireland (1950); with
his second wife Antoinette Marchand in the Caribbean (1961); with
Joan Halifax in Morocco; and with his daughter, Anna L. Wood. All
those who assisted and worked with him were accurately credited on
the resultant Library of Congress and other recordings, as well as
in his many books and publications.
Alan Lomax met twenty-year-old English folk singer Shirley Collins
while living in London. The two were romantically involved and
lived together for some years. When Lomax obtained a contract from
Atlantic Records to re-record some the U.S. artists he had recorded
in the 1940s, using improved recording equipment, Collins
accompanied him. Their folk song collecting trip to the Southern
states lasted from July to November 1959 and resulted in many hours
of recordings, featuring performers such as Almeda Riddle
, Wade Ward
, Charlie Higgins
and Bessie Jones
and culminated in the discovery of
Mississippi Fred McDowell
from this trip were issued under the title Sounds of the
and some were also featured in the Coen brothers’
film Oh Brother, Where Art Thou
. Lomax wanted to marry her
but when their trip was over, Collins returned to England and
instead married Austin John Marshall. In an interview in The Guardian newspaper, Friday March 21 2008
Collins was miffed that Alan Lomax's 1993 history of blues music,
The Land Where The Blues Began
, barely mentioned her. "All
it said was, 'Shirley Collins was along for the trip'. It made me
hopping mad. I wasn't just 'along for the trip'. I was part of the
recording process, I made notes, I drafted contracts, I was
involved in every part". Collins decided to rectify the perceived
omission in her memoir America Over the Water
Collins described her arrival in America 1959 in an interview with
Johan Kugelberg :
Kugelberg: Lomax met you?
Collins: He was on the dockside with Anne, his
I think I arrived in April and I don't think we went
south until August.
It took quite a long time to get the money together; it
kept falling through.
I think Columbia was going to pay for it at one point,
but they insisted he have a union engineer with him and someone
extra like that -- that in situations we were going to be in would
have been hopeless.
So he refused, and they withdrew their
It was very last minute that the Ertegun brothers at
Atlantic gave us the cash and we were gone within days of getting
Alan had wanted to do it earlier, but there was just no
money to do it with.
He had no money, ever.
He was always living hand to mouth.
Kugelberg: That's the nature of somebody who is making
the path as he's going along.
Also as a sidebar, considering who the Ertegun brothers
were at that point in time, it's surprising to me that they
greenlighted that project at that point in time.
I love that series, I think it's one of the great
series of albums ever.
It's surprising that Atlantic Records made that leap of
faith because the series is sort of outside of their
So, those months were spent in New York?
Collins: We went to another place actually, we went to
California, to the California Folk festival in Berkeley, this was
sometime in the summer.
And we stopped off in Chicago and stayed with Studs Terkel who was a hospitable man and his
wonderful hospitable wife.
Caught the train out to San Francisco from Chicago,
which was an incredible experience.
Sang at the Berkeley festival and met Jimmy Driftwood
there for the first time.
We all hit it off wonderfully.
Kugelberg: Your friends in England were dying of
Collins: No, they didn't know.
Lomax married Antoinette Marchand on August 26, 1961.
In 1962, Lomax and singer and Civil Rights Activist Guy Carawan
, music director at the Highlander Folk School
Tennessee, produced the album, Freedom in the Air: Albany
, on Vanguard Records for the Student
Non-Violent Coordinating Committee.
Lomax was a consultant to Carl Sagan for the Voyager Golden Record
sent into space
on the 1977 Voyager Spacecraft to represent the music of the earth.
Music he helped choose included the blues, jazz, and rock 'n' roll
of Blind Willie Johnson
, and Chuck Berry
; Andean panpipes and Navajo chants;
a Sicilian sulfur miner’s lament; polyphonic vocal music from the
Pygmies of Zaire, and the Georgians of
the Caucasus; and a shepherdess song from Bulgaria by Valya Balkanska
; in addition to Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven,
Musician Brian Eno
had this to say about
Lomax's later career:
[He later] turned his intelligent attentions to music
from many other parts of the world, securing for them a dignity and
status they had not previously been accorded.
The “World Music” phenomenon arose partly from those
efforts, as did his great book, Folk Song Style and
I believe this is one of the most important books ever
written about music, in my all time top ten.
It is one of the very rare attempts to put cultural
criticism onto a serious, comprehensible, and rational footing by
someone who had the experience and breadth of vision to be able to
As a member of the Popular Front
in the 1940s, Alan
Lomax promoted what was then known as "One World" and today is
called multiculturalism. In the late forties he produced a series
of concerts at Town Hall and Carnegie Hall that presented Flamenco
guitar and Calypso, along with country blues, Appalachian music
, Andean music, and jazz.
His radio shows of the 40s and 50s explored musics of all the
Lomax recognized that folklore (like all forms of creativity)
occurs at the local and not the national level and flourishes not
in isolation but in fruitful interplay with other cultures. He was
dismayed that mass communications appeared to be crushing local
cultural expressions and languages. In 1950 he echoed
(1884-1942), who believed the role of the
ethnologist should be that of advocate for primitive man (as
indigenous people were then called), when he urged folklorists to
similarly advocate for the folk. Some, such as Richard Dorson
, objected that scholars
shouldn't act as cultural arbiters, but Lomax believed it would be
unethical to stand idly by as the magnificent variety of the
world's cultures and languages was "grayed out" by centralized
commercial entertainment and educational systems. Although he
acknowledged potential problems with intervention, he urged that
folklorists with their special training actively assist communities
in safeguarding and revitalizing their own local traditions.
Similar ideas had been put into practice by Benjamin Botkin
, Harold W. Thompson, and
Louis C. Jones, who believed that folklore studied by folklorists
should be returned to its home communities to enable it to thrive
anew. They have been realized in the annual (since 1967)
Smithsonian Folk Festival on the Mall in Washington, D.C. (for
which Lomax served as a consultant), in national and regional
initiatives by public folklorists and local activists in helping
communities gain recognition for their oral traditions and lifeways
both in their home communities and in the world at large; and in
the National Heritage Awards, concerts, and fellowships given by
the NEA and various State governments to master folk and
In 2001, in the wake of the attacks in New York and Washington of
Sept. 11, UNESCO's Universal Declaration of Cultural Diversity
the safeguarding of languages and intangible culture on a par with
protection of individual human rights and as essential for human
survival as biodiversity is for nature, ideas first articulated by
From 1942 to 1979 Lomax was investigated and repeatedly interviewed
by the FBI, although nothing incriminating was ever found and the
investigation was eventually abandoned. Scholar and jazz pianist
uncovered and published extracts
from Alan Lomax's 800-page FBI files. The investigation appears to
have started when an anonymous informant reported overhearing
Lomax's father telling guests in 1941 about his son's Communist
sympathies. Looking for leads, the FBI seized on the fact that, as
a teenager, Lomax had transferred from Harvard to the University of
Texas after being arrested in Boston in connection with a political
demonstration. In 1942 the FBI bizarrely sent agents to interview
students at Harvard's freshman dorm about Lomax's participation in
a demonstration that had occurred at Harvard ten years earlier (in
1932) in support of one Edith Berkman, viewed at the time by the
FBI as a "communist agitator" and threatened with deportation.
Lomax had been charged with disturbing the peace and fined $25.00.
Miss Berkman, however, had been cleared of accusations against her
and was not deported. Nor had Lomax's academic record been affected
in any way. Nevertheless, the bureau continued to try to show that
in 1932 Lomax had either distributed Communist literature or made
public speeches in support of the Communist Party.
According to Ted Gioia:
Lomax must have felt it necessary to address the
He gave a sworn statement to an FBI agent on April 3,
1942, denying both of these charges.
He also explained his arrest while at Harvard as the
result of police overreaction.
He was, he claimed, 15 at the time – he was actually 17
and a college student – and he said he had intended to participate
in a peaceful demonstration.
Lomax said he and his colleagues agreed to stop their
protest when police asked them to, but that he was grabbed by a
couple of policemen as he was walking away.
"That is pretty much the story there, except that it
distressed my father very, very much," Lomax told the
"'I had to defend my righteous position, and he
couldn’t understand me and I couldn’t understand him.
It has made a lot of unhappiness for the two of us
because he loved Harvard and wanted me to be a great success
Lomax transferred to the University of Texas the
Lomax left Harvard after a year because his father lost his job and
all his money during the depression and could no longer afford to
send him there and not for any political or academic reasons. He
probably also had wanted to be close to his newly bereaved father,
now a widower.
In June 1942 the FBI approached the Librarian of Congress,
Archibald McLeish, attempting to have Lomax fired as Assistant in
Charge of the Library's Archive of American Folk Song. At the time,
Lomax was preparing for a field trip to the Mississippi Delta on
behalf of the Library, where he would make landmark recordings of
Muddy Waters, Son House, and David "Honeyboy" Edwards, among
others. McLeish wrote to Hoover defending Lomax: "I have studied
the findings of these reports very carefully. I do not find
positive evidence that Mr. Lomax has been engaged in subversive
activities and I am therefore taking no disciplinary action toward
him." Nevertheless, according to Gioia:
Yet what the probe failed to find in terms of
prosecutable evidence, it made up for in speculation about his
character. An FBI report dated July 23, 1943, describes Lomax as
possessing “an erratic, artistic temperament” and a “bohemian
attitude.” It says: “He has a tendency to neglect his work over a
period of time and then just before a deadline he produces
excellent results." The file quotes one informant who said that
“Lomax was a very peculiar individual, that he seemed to be very
absent-minded and that he paid practically no attention to his
personal appearance.” This same source adds that he suspected
Lomax’s peculiarity and poor grooming habits came from associating
with the hillbillies who provided him with folk tunes".
Lomax, who was a founding member of People's Songs, was in charge of campaign
music for Henry A. Wallace's 1948 Presidential run on the
Progressive Party ticket on a platform opposing the arms race and
supporting civil rights for Jews and African Americans.
Subsequently, Lomax was one of the performers listed in Red
Channels as a possible Communist sympathizer and was consequently
blacklisted from working in US entertainment industries.
BBC news article revealed that in the early '50s, the
British MI5 placed Alan
Lomax under surveillance as a suspected Communist. Its report concluded that
although Lomax undoubtedly held "left wing" views, there was no
evidence he was a Communist. Released Sept. 4, 2007 (File ref KV
2/2701), a summary of his MI5 file reads as follows:
Noted American folk music archivist and collector Alan
Lomax first attracted the attention of the Security Service when it
was noted that he had made contact with the Romanian press attaché
in London while he was working on a series of folk music broadcasts
for the BBC in 1952.
Correspondence ensued with the American authorities as
to Lomax' suspected membership of the Communist Party, though no
positive proof is found on this file.
The Service took the view that Lomax' work compiling
his collections of world folk music gave him a legitimate reason to
contact the attaché, and that while his views (as demonstrated by
his choice of songs and singers) were undoubtedly left wing, there
was no need for any specific action against him.
The file contains a partial record of Lomax' movements,
contacts and activities while in Britain, and includes for example
a police report of the "Songs of the Iron Road" concert at St
Pancras in December 1953.
His association with film director Joseph Losey is also
mentioned (serial 30a).
The FBI again investigated Lomax in 1956 and sent a 68 page report
to the CIA and the Attorney General's office. However, William
Tompkins, assistant attorney general, wrote to Hoover that the
investigation had failed to disclose sufficient evidence to warrant
prosecution or the suspension of Lomax's passport.
Then, as late as 1979, an FBI report suggested that Lomax had
recently impersonated an FBI agent. The report appears to have been
based on mistaken identity. The person who reported the incident to
the FBI said that the man in question was around 43, about 5 feet 9
inches and 190 pounds. The FBI file notes that Lomax stood 6 feet
tall, weighed 240 pounds and was 64 at the time:
Lomax resisted the FBI’s attempts to interview him
about the impersonation charges, but he finally met with agents at
his home in November 1979.
He denied that he’d been involved in the matter but did
note that he’d been in New Hampshire in July 1979, visiting a film
editor about a documentary.
The FBI’s report concluded that “Lomax made no secret
of the fact that he disliked the FBI and disliked being interviewed
by the FBI.
Lomax was extremely nervous throughout the
The FBI investigation was concluded the following year, shortly
after Lomax's 65th birthday.
Alan Lomax received the National
Medal of Arts from President Reagan in 1986, a Library of
Congress Living Legend Award  in 2000, and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate
in Philosophy from Tulane University in 2001 . He won the National Book Critics Circle
Award and the Ralph J. Gleason Music Book Award
in 1993 for his book The Land Where the Blues Began,
connecting the story of the origins of blues music with the
prevalence of forced labor in the pre-World War II South
(especially on the Mississippi levees). Lomax also received a
posthumous Grammy Trustees
Award for his lifetime achievements in 2003.Jelly Roll
Morton: The Complete Library of Congress Recordings by Alan
Lomax (Rounder Records, 8 CDs boxed set) won in two categories
at the 48th annual Grammy Awards ceremony held on Feb 8, 2006
- See Matthew Barton and Andrew L. Kaye, in Ronald D. Cohen (ed),
Alan Lomax Selected Writings, pp. 98–99
- Quoted in Ronald D. Cohen's Rainbow Quest, University
of Massachusetts Press, 2002, p. 140
- Brian Eno, in liner notes to the Alan Lomax Collection
Sampler (Rounder Records, 1997)
- On the vital connection between biological diversity and
cultural diversity, see the recent article "In Defense of
Difference: Scientists offer new insight into what to protect of
the world's rapidly vanishing languages, cultures, and species"
(Oct. 2008), published in Seed Magazine: "Last October, when United
Nations Environment Program (UNEP) released its Global Outlook 4
report, reiterating the scientific consensus that, ultimately,
humans are to blame for current global extinctions, UNEP for the
first time made an explicit connection between the ongoing collapse
of biological diversity and the rapid, global-scale withering of
cultural and linguistic diversity: 'Global social and economic
change is driving the loss of biodiversity and disrupting local
ways of life by promoting cultural assimilation and
homogenization,' the report noted. 'Cultural change, such as loss
of cultural and spiritual values, languages, and traditional
knowledge and practices, is a driver that can cause increasing
pressures on biodiversity...In turn, these pressures impact human
- Ted Gioia, "The Red-rumor blues", Los Angeles
Times, 23 April 2006.
- The famous "Hoedown" in Aaron
Copland's 1942 ballet Rodeo was taken note for note from
Ruth Crawford Seeger's piano
transcription of the square-dance tune, "Bonypart" ("Bonaparte's
Retreat"), taken from a recording of W. M. Stepp's fiddle
version, originally recorded in Appalachia for the Library of Congress by Alan and Elizabeth Lomax in 1937.
Seeger's transcription was published in Our Singing
Country (1941) by John A. and Alan Lomax and Ruth Crawford
Seeger. (See Alan Jabour,"Copland's Kentucky Muse: From Hill
Country Hoe-down to Concert Hall Classic", Civilization
(June/July 1999): 110 and Stephen Wade, "The Route of 'Bonaparte's
Retreat': From 'Fiddler Bill' Stepp to Aaron Copland", American
Music, 18: 4 (Winter, 2000): 343-369 and the preface by Judith
Tick's to John A. and Alan Lomax and Ruth Crawford Seeger's,
Our Singing Country Folk Songs and Ballads (Dover, 2000),
- Miles Davis's 1959 Sketches of Spain album adapts
the melodies "Alborada de vigo" and "Saeta" from Alan Lomax's
Columbia World Library album Spain. (See Fred
McCormick, The Alan Lomax Popular Songbook at the Musical
Traditions Internet Magazine.)
- A character named Alan Lomax was featured in the book
Ishmael by Daniel Quinn.
- BBC Radio 4 aired a program on
Saturday June 7 2008 in their Archive Hour strand narrated by
Marybeth Hamilton on the sessions between Alan Lomax and Jelly Roll Morton in 1938 called "The
Dreamtime of Jazz."
- In June 2008, PBS's magazine Current announced the debut of the kid's
show, Lomax: The Hound of Music (produced by: Sirius
Thinking, Ltd., Executive Producers: Christopher Cerf, Norman
Stiles, Richard Fernandes, and Richard Moore), on Connecticut
Public Television. The show, aimed at an audience of children aged
3-7 years, features Lomax the dog and his sidekick Delta the cat
(both puppets), along with their human companion Amy. They take a
train ride across the country to discover the history of American
roots music. Along the way they meet musical celebrities and learn
tunes such as “John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt” and “The Gooney
Bird Song”. Arguably, these are humorous camp songs rather than
folk or "roots" music. Alan Lomax's own functioning music education
prototype: Global Jukebox", based on his Cantometrics
research and intended as "an egalitarian showcase for the
expressive arts and aesthetic values of all cultures", remains
- Moby's album Play sampled several
songs from Lomax's 1993 Atlantic recording Sounds of the South:
A Musical Journey From the Georgia Sea Islands to the Mississippi
Delta, including "Natural Blues" ("Trouble So Hard").
A partial list of books by Alan Lomax includes:
- Alan Lomax: Selected Writings 1934-1997. Ronald D.
Cohen, Editor (includes a chapter defining all the categories of
cantometrics). New York: Routledge: 2003.
- Brown Girl in the Ring: An Anthology of Song Games from the
Eastern Caribbean Compiler, with J. D. Elder and Bess Lomax
Hawes. New York: Pantheon Books, 1997 (Cloth, ISBN 0679404538); New
York: Random House, 1998 (Cloth).
- The Land Where The Blues Began. New York: Pantheon,
- Cantometrics: An Approach to the Anthropology of Music:
Audiocassettes and a Handbook. Berkeley: University of
California Media Extension Center, 1976.
- Folk Song Style and Culture. With contributions by
Conrad Arensberg, Edwin E. Erickson, Victor Grauer, Norman
Berkowitz, Irmgard Bartenieff, Forrestine Paulay, Joan Halifax,
Barbara Ayres, Norman N. Markel, Roswell Rudd, Monika Vizedom, Fred
Peng, Roger Wescott, David Brown. Washington, D.C.: Colonial Press
Inc, American Association for the Advancement of Science,
Publication no. 88, 1968.
- Penguin Book of American Folk Songs (1968)
- 3000 Years of Black Poetry. Alan Lomax and Raoul
Abdul, Editors. New York: Dodd Mead Company, 1969. Paperback
edition, Fawcett Publications, 1971.
- The Leadbelly Songbook. Moses Asch and Alan Lomax,
Editors. Musical transcriptions by Jerry Silverman. Forward by
Moses Asch. New York: Oak Publications, 1962.
- Folk Songs of North America. Melodies and guitar
chords transcribed by Peggy Seeger. New York: Doubleday, 1960.
- The Rainbow Sign'. New York: Duell, Sloan and
- Leadbelly: A Collection of World Famous Songs by Huddie
Ledbetter. Edited with John A. Lomax. Hally Wood, Music
Editor. Special note on Leadbelly’s 12-string guitar by Pete
Seeger. New York: Folkways Music Publishers Company, 1959.
- Harriet and Her Harmonium: An American adventure with
thirteen folk songs from the Lomax collection. Illustrated by
Pearl Binder. Music arranged by Robert Gill. London: Faber and
Faber, Ltd., 1955.
- Mister Jelly Roll: The Fortunes of Jelly Roll Morton, New
Orleans Creole and "Inventor of Jazz". Drawings by David Stone Martin. New York: Duell,
Sloan and Pierce, 1950.
- Folk Song: USA. With John A. Lomax. Piano
accompaniment by Charles and Ruth Crawford Seeger. New York: Duell,
Sloan and Pierce, c.1947. Republished as Best Loved American
Folk Songs, New York: Grosset and Dunlap 1947 (Cloth).
- Freedom Songs of the United Nations. With Svatava
Jakobson. Washington, D.C.: Office of War Information, 1943.
- Our Singing Country: Folk Songs and Ballads. With John
A. Lomax and Ruth Crawford Seeger. New York: MacMillan, 1941.
- Check-list of Recorded Songs in the English Language in the
Archive of American Folk Song in July 1940. Washington, D.C.:
Music Division, Library of Congress, 1942. Three volumes.
- American Folksong and Folklore: A Regional
Bibliography. With Sidney Robertson Cowell. New York,
Progressive Education Association, 1942. Reprint, Temecula, CA:
Reprint Services Corp., 1988 (62 pp. ISBN 0781207673).
- Negro Folk Songs as Sung by Lead Belly. With John A.
Lomax. New York: Macmillan, 1936.
- Alan Lomax: Mirades Miradas Glances Photos by Alan
Lomax, ed. by Antoni Pizà
(Barcelona: Lunwerg / Fundacio Sa Nostra, 2006) ISBN
- L'Anno piu' felice della mia vita (The Happiest
Year of My Life), a book of ethnographic photos by Alan Lomax
from his 1954-55 fieldwork in Italy, edited by Goffredo Plastino,
preface by Martin Scorsese. Milano:
Il Saggiatore, M2008.
- Lomax the
Songhunter, documentary directed by Rogier Kappers, 2004
(issued on DVD 2007).
- Patchwork television series, 1990 (five
- Oss Oss Wee Oss 1951 (on a DVD with
other films related to the Padstow May Day).
- Rhythms of Earth. Four films
(Dance & Human History, Step Style, Palm
Play, and The Longest Trail) made by Lomax
(1974-1984) about his Choreometric cross-cultural analysis of dance
and movement style. Two-and-a-half hours, plus one-and-a-half hours
of interviews and 177 pages of text.
- Land Where The Blues Began, expanded,
thirtieth-anniversary edition of the 1979 documentary by Alan Lomax
and ethnomusicologist and civil rights activist Worth Long, with
3.5 hours of additional music and video.
- "Lomax, Alan" obituary in Current Biography,
- "The Saga of a Folksong Hunter: A Twenty-year
Odyssey with Cylinder, Disc, and Tape". HiFi Stereo Review, May 1960."
- Alan Lomax Collection, The American Folklife Center,
Library of Congress
- Lomax Collection images, Library of
- Association for Cultural Equity (ACE) - Alan Lomax
- "Remembrances of Alan Lomax, 2002" by Guy Carawan
- Alan Lomax: Citizen Activist, by Ron Cohen
- Remembering Alan Lomax by Bruce Jackson
- Interview of Shirley Collins reminiscing about Alan
Lomax on Perfect Sound Forever.
- Alan Lomax's Multimedia Dream by Michael Naimark.
- Alan Lomax on Impressum (in German)
- Alan Lomax films for viewing online - Appalachian
Journey, Cajun Country, Dreams and Songs of the Noble Old, Jazz
Parades: Feet Don't Fail Me Now, The Land Where the Blues
- Lomax: the songhunter from P.O.V. August 22, 2006. Discussion guide, streaming
radio sampler, discussion board.
- Scene taken from Lomax the songhunter, a musical documentary
that travels the world to meet people whom Lomax recorded and
portrays his life through interviews with relatives.
- To Hear Your Banjo Play (1947), documentary
film written by Alan Lomax, narrated by Pete Seeger, with Texas
Gladden, Woody Guthrie, Baldwin Hawes, Cisco Houston, Brownie
McGhee, Sonny Terry, and the Margot Mayo Square Dancers on Google
- Oss Oss Wee Oss by Alan Lomax and Peter Kennedy, a
filmed documentary of the Padstow May Day Ceremony (1951) at
Documentary Educational Resources.
- Radio interview with Alan Lomax talking about