On the Greenville Levee (1978)

In the summer of 1978, Alan Lomax, John Bishop, and Worth Long spent two days on the levee in Greenville, Mississippi, interviewing Walter Brown, Joe Savage, Bill Gordon, and William S. Hart -- former levee-camp laborers, river roustabouts, and Parchman Farm inmates. The result was a remarkable collection of reminiscences, tall tales, field hollers, and oral history preserved on two hours of video tape, presented in its original order here.

 

     
 
A shack-rouster song that would have awakened levee-camp laborers. Shot by Alan Lomax, John Bishop, and Worth Long on the levee in Greenville, Mississippi, August 22, 1978.
 
Former levee-camp laborer Walter Brown recalls a duel in Last Chance, Arkansas. Shot by Alan Lomax, John Bishop, and Worth Long on the levee in Greenville, Mississippi, August 22, 1978.
     
 
Levee camp conversation, pt. 4: discussion of robberies, paydays, and camp wives. With Bill Gordon and William S. Hart. Shot by Alan Lomax, John Bishop, and Worth Long on the levee in Greenville, Mississippi, August 22, 1978.
 
Walter Brown recalls a pickle he got into while gambling at a rice-mill in Crowley, Louisiana, with "all them Creoles and Frenchmens." Shot by Alan Lomax, John Bishop, and Worth Long on the levee in Greenville, Mississippi, August 22, 1978.
     
 
Ex-roustabout and levee-camp laborer Walter Brown recalls levee-camp boss Charley Loran and sings a muleskinner holler. Shot by Alan Lomax, John Bishop, and Worth Long on the levee in Greenville, Mississippi, August 22, 1978.
 
Levee camp conversation, pt. 5: Walter Brown explains how to communicate with the camp mules, and sings a fragment of a muleskinner holler. Shot by Alan Lomax, John Bishop, and Worth Long on the levee in Greenville, Mississippi, August 22, 1978.
     

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