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Beyoncé, Paul Bowles, and More: Current GRAMMY Nominees with AFC Connections on the Library of Congress Blog

Note: This is just a teaser for a fuller post over at the Library of Congress Blog. Read the full story there!

By Kristopher Harris from Charlotte, NC - DSC03829. On the Wikimedia Commons with a Creative Commons License CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=54519266

Put a GRAMMY on it!  Beyoncé in 2016, by Kristopher Harris from Charlotte, NC – DSC03829. On the Wikimedia Commons with a Creative Commons License CC BY 2.0

This year the GRAMMY awards promise to be exciting for music fans everywhere, but especially fans of the American Folklife Center.  At least four of the nominees have connections to the AFC archive: Beyoncé’s song “Freedom” from the album Lemonade, which uses samples of two songs from the Alan Lomax collection; a box set  of Moroccan music recorded for the archive by the author and composer Paul Bowles in the 1950s called Music of Morocco from the Library of Congress; a box set of early recordings of the sacred songs of Protestant camp meetings and revivals from the 1890s called Waxing the Gospel, which includes two recordings from the archive; and I Wanna Sing Right: Rediscovering Lomax in the Evangeline Country, presenting contemporary Louisiana artists performing their own versions of songs they learned from John and Alan Lomax’s 1934 field recordings from coastal Louisiana.

Obviously, we’re excited that so much material from our archive is either up for a GRAMMY itself, or inspiring creative artists to make their own GRAMMY-nominated music. We wish all the artists and labels good luck, and to the GRAMMY voters we can only say, “If you like it, then you better put a GRAMMY on it!”

Read more about these works, their connections to the archive, and the GRAMMYs they’re nominated for, all over at the Library of Congress Blog!

Nearly 300,000 Lomax documents now accessible online

This is a guest post by the American Folklife Center’s Alan Lomax curator Todd Harvey. Fans of folk music fire up your browsers! The second—and largest—phase of the Lomax family papers has just gone online at this link. This set of manuscripts joins ca. 25,000 items that went online last fall. Researchers now have access to nearly […]

Jon B. Lovelace Fellowship for the Study of the Alan Lomax Collection

The John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress invites qualified scholars to apply for a post-doctoral fellowship for advanced research based on the Alan Lomax Collection. The Lovelace Fellowship, established in 2015 for the study of the Alan Lomax Collection, pays tribute to the 60-year friendship between philanthropist Jon B. Lovelace and James […]

The Candidate’s a Dodger: An Electoral Folksong from Oral Tradition to Aaron Copland

As Election Day draws near, people often ask the AFC staff if we have any election-related songs or folklore. Of course we do! You can see a selection of song materials from throughout the Library of Congress in the essay “Songs of Politics and Political Campaigns.” But in this blog post I’ll focus on just […]

The American Folklife Center: 40 Years of Change

The following post is part of a series of blog posts about the 40th Anniversary Year of the American Folklife Center. Visit this link to see them all! This year the Library’s American Folklife Center (AFC) turns 40. Detailed histories of AFC are available elsewhere [1], so we thought we’d do something different in this […]

American Folklife Center Reissues Four Historic LPs

The following guest post by Jennifer Cutting is part of a series of blog posts about the 40th Anniversary Year of the American Folklife Center. Visit this link to see them all! The American Folklife Center (AFC) is pleased to announce the availability online of four titles from our historic series of record albums, Folk […]

Lomax Challenge Videos Part 3

Note: This post is part of series of blog posts celebrating the centennial of Alan Lomax’s birth, and also part of another series celebrating the 40th anniversary of AFC! In a previous blog post, Jennifer Cutting and I explained the background to our Lomax Challenge showcase at last year’s Folk Alliance meeting. (We also presented the […]

Lomax Challenge Videos Part 1

Note: This post was co-written with AFC Folklife Specialist Jennifer Cutting. It is part of series of blog posts celebrating the centennial of Alan Lomax’s birth, and also part of another series celebrating the 40th anniversary of AFC!    Part Two of this series of posts is now available, featuring videos of contemporary artists performing French […]

Arthur McBride, Carrie Grover, Paul Brady, and Rosanne Cash: More About a Classic Song

In a previous post, I discussed one of AFC’s most influential field recordings, Carrie Grover’s “Arthur McBride,” and the popular tracks it inspired: versions by Paul Brady and by Bob Dylan. I was inspired to write about the song again by Rosanne Cash, a fan of both Dylan and Brady, who enthused about “Arthur McBride” […]