Original audio tape box from Alan Lomax's 1962 Caribbean fieldtrip (St. Patrick's, Grenada).
John A. and Alan Lomax got their start recording traditional music in the field with the support of the Macmillan Company, which eventually published "American Folk Songs and Ballads"—the first large-scale compilation of vernacular song every published in this country, and a book that, after many dozens of editions, has never been out of print. From that time on, Alan Lomax steadily pursued the publication of material from his collections, not only in books, but also on 78s, LPs, cassettes, and, towards the end of his life, compact discs. He worked with a number of labels over the course of his career to provide public access to his sound recordings, beginning with the Library of Congress' Recorded Sound Lab in the '40s (which produced "Folk Music of the United States) and continuing in partnerships with Atlantic, Prestige, New World, and Rounder Records. From 1997 to 2004, ACE curated the 100-CD Alan Lomax Collection on Rounder. The series spanned the breadth of Lomax's international collections, with annotations by scholars and a roster of renowned musicians. One of the last Rounder releases was the nine-CD Jelly Roll Morton: The Complete Library of Congress Recordings by Alan Lomax, which was awarded two Grammies in 2006. It was followed by Alan Lomax in Haiti, curated by Gage Averill with Alan's notes and journal entries edited by Ellen Harold, released on Hart Recordings, and nominated for two Grammies.
ACE continues to work collaboratively with a diversity of record labels and cultural organizations to release beautiful and engaging presentations of Lomax's recordings. Visit our Publications page to learn more about these projects and our partners.