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JOHN A. LOMAX! (1875-1948) Great American Folk Song Archivist,<BR>Father of Alan, Signed First Editon of <br>ADVENTURES OF A BALLAD HUNTER<BR>Signed and Dated One Year Bofore his Death in 1947!

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Offered here is a 1947 first edition copy of the memoirs of the great American music archivist, John A. Lomax. The book is signed and inscribed:

"Tp Mrs. Joan Browne/ A lovely, valiant lady whom / I much admire/ John A. Lomax/ Dallas, Texas, February 18, 1947"

This is an extremely rare signature and an important one in the annals of music history. This does not appear to be a "fan autograph" since the familiarity of the inscription implies that Ms. Browne was someone who Lomax held in great regard.

The condition of the book is excellent with some yellowing, but the dust cover is in poor shape as evident in the below scan.

John A. Lomax is probably the single greatest archivist of early American roots music in history, and was certainly the first significant person ever to travil the country and collect field recordings of "folk" music in the poor uroban and rural areas of the country. The only other archivist who even compares is his son, Alan Lomax.

Although he specialized in "cowboy" music, Lomax also was known for discovering Huddie Ledbetter (Leadbelly) along with his son Alan.

From the inner flap of the dust jacket:

"When young John Lomax of Texas set off for college, he carried at the bottom of his trunk a small roll of cowboy songs. Several years later he summoned up the ocurage to show them to one of his college professors - a courteous and kindly Anglo-Saxon scholar - who advised him taht frontier literature was tawdry, cheap, and unworthy, and that he'd betterdevote himself to great literature. Luckily for Americans, he disregarded this advice and set out instead on a life of ballad collecting. What a full, exciting, and interesting life it has been!"

From the All Music Guide, in part:

"In 1932, John was contracted to assemble a book of folk songs, and soon he and Alan set out with a crude recording machine paid for by the Library of Congress; covering some 16, 000 miles of the southeastern U.S. in just four months, they collected a wealth of African-American work songs, many of them recorded at various penitentiaries.

Among the musicians the Lomaxes encountered during their travels that summer was a Louisiana prisoner named Huddie Ledbetter; they helped obtain his release, employing him as a chauffeur and making his first recordings. Ledbetter went on to fame under the name Leadbelly, and remains one of the true legends of American folk and blues. Beginning in 1933 and lasting through to 1942, Alan -- working alone as well as in conjunction with his father, writer Zora Neale Hurston, musicologist John Work and others -- recorded folk and traditional music for the Library of Congress throughout the Deep South, as well as in New England, Michigan, Wisconsin, New York and Ohio. He also recorded in Haiti and the Bahamas, pioneering the archival study of world music which increased in the decades to follow, and in the field made the first-ever recordings of Woody Guthrie, Muddy Waters and Aunt Molly Jackson. Concurrently, the Lomaxes teamed on a number of books, including 1934's American Ballads and Folksongs, 1936's Negro Folk Songs as Sung by Leadbelly, 1937's Cowboy Songs and 1938's Our Singing Country."

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