Posted by: Stephen Winick
It's hard to believe, but this is the 1000th published post here at Folklife Today! To celebrate, we'll talk about one of the songs on the Archive's 1000th disc. It reveals a lot about the history of the archive, the methods of Alan Lomax, and the development of a well known cowboy song. It also introduces us to "Daca," a little-known folksinger active from the 1920s through the 1940s, whom we'll profile in a later post. This track is known as AFS 1000 B2, and is Alan Lomax, then Assistant-in-Charge of the archive, singing "Ten Thousand Goddam Cattle." In the blog you can hear the song, read about where Lomax learned it, find out about its roots in "The Virginian" by novelist Owen Wister, and examine the influence of Lomax's version on the song as it was later sung by cowboys.