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A Sampler of Luso-Hispanic American Music and Song

The collections of the American Folklife Center reflect a long history of ethnographic interest in Luso-Hispanic American music and song. Much of the early collecting work focused on peoples of the regions that formerly belonged to Spain. In this post I’ll provide a quick overview of the Hispanic-American music in AFC’s online collections. Spanish Songs […]

The Lomaxes’ 1934 French Louisiana Recordings Go Online

The following is a guest post by Joshua Caffery, who was the John W. Kluge Center’s Alan Lomax Fellow until April 2014.  Caffery is a scholar of vernacular traditions in Louisiana, as well as an archivist and a musician. He is the author of Traditional Music in Coastal Louisiana: The 1934 Lomax Recordings, and the […]

Some Songs for Mother’s Day

The tradition of a national celebration of Mother’s Day in the United States grew out of reactions to the aftermath of the Civil War. Poet, suffragist, and author of the lyrics of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” Julia Ward Howe attempted to unite women in the cause of peace, beginning with her “Appeal to […]

The Life and Times of Boll Weevil

The first time I saw Boll Weevil, He was sitting on a cotton square. The next time I saw Boll Weevil, He had his whole family there. This song about the boll weevil is one of many popularized by Huddie “Lead Belly” Ledbetter, Woody Guthrie, and other artists. A version of this most widely known […]