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“Trench Blues”: An African American Song of World War I

This post is also featured on the Library of Congress Blog  as “World War I: ‘Trench Blues’ — An African American Song of the War.” Head over there to find more WWI stories from the Library’s collections honoring the centennial (2017-2018).   There is  another Folklife Today post about an African American World War I song […]

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

Note: this is the first in a series of posts about a classic item from the AFC archive, “The Dodger.” [See the first post here.] [See the second post here.][See the third post here.] Second note: we’ve also created a podcast version of these stories. Download our “Dodger” podcast here! As Election Day draws near, […]

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 2

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 my last 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” […]

Songs for Christmas and the New Year Collected by Alan Lomax

As we approach the end of the centennial year of the birth of Alan Lomax, it seems appropriate to look at recordings of songs and music he collected celebrating Christmas, the new year, and Epiphany.  The recordings presented here are all part of the collections of the American Folklife Center, but many have been put […]

Paul Brady, Carrie Grover, Bob Dylan, and “Arthur McBride”

A few years ago, I wrote an article in Folklife Center News about popular recordings inspired by AFC collection items. One of the ones I chose was Paul Brady’s version of an Irish ballad he called “Arthur McBride and the Sergeant” (see the lyrics at this link). In the article I revealed that Brady had […]