Alan Lomax

Folk Singer week continues with this picture of Alan Lomax. We feature him not so much for what he sang, but what he did. From the 1930's through the 1940's Alan went across the country and recorded "real" folk music from real people. One of the more interesting aspects of his project was his recordings of prison Chain Gangs and other prison work crews. The prisoners would sing to make the work easier, and the tools they used became percussion for their music. As an example of one of his Chain Gang recordings, we present Po' Lasrus below. 

Interestingly, this authentic Chain Gang recording was used in the opening scene of the hit movie "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?" 

Even more interesting, they were actually able to track down the main guy singing on the recording, and he got a completely unexpected, and very generous check for the use of his voice.