May 22, 2022

Folk Music: Lomax Kentucky Recordings Now Available Online, Over 70 Hours Available

From Berea College and The Library of Congress:

…the American Folklife Center is thrilled to announce that The Lomax Kentucky Recordings, a complete presentation of the audio recordings Lomax made of traditional folk music in Kentucky between 1933 and 1942, has been placed online.

The recordings, which total over 70 hours, were made by Alan Lomax with his father John, his wife Elizabeth, and other collectors on several field trips throughout this period, primarily in Eastern Kentucky.

Featuring full, free streaming audio of every performance, interview, and narrative segment — some 1300 discrete pieces — along with searchable recording details (performer name, location, date, instrument, etc.), The Lomax Kentucky Recordings presents a breathtakingly diverse spectrum of Appalachian traditional culture and a point of entry into the lives of the farmers, laborers, coal miners, preachers, housewives, public officials, soldiers, children, grandparents, and itinerant musicians who nurtured and were nurtured by it.

There are ballads and lyric songs, play-party ditties and comic pieces, topical and protest material, fiddle and banjo tunes, hymns and sacred songs, children’s games and lullabies, and a variety of spoken lore — religious testimonies, occupational reminiscences, tall tales, jokes, and personal narratives.

Particularly notable is a version of “The House of the Rising Sun” sung by 16-year-old Georgia Turner of Middlesboro, Kentucky, which became the basis for versions by Bob Dylan, Dave Van Ronk, and Eric Burdon and the Animals.

Read the Complete Collection Overview via Berea College and LC

Direct to Lomax Kentucky Recordings (via Berea College Library Special Collections)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.