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.

 

     
 
Thomas A. Dorsey's "Peace In the Valley," sung by Joe Savage, former muleskinner and Parchman Farm inmate, on the levee in Greenville, Mississippi. Shot by Alan Lomax, Worth Long, and John Bishop, on August 22, 1978.
 
A field holler sung by Joe Savage, former muleskinner and Parchman Farm inmate, on the levee in Greenville, Mississippi. Shot by Alan Lomax, Worth Long, and John Bishop, on August 22, 1978.
     
 
Levee camp conversation, pt. 10: Joe Savage and Walter Brown recall their experiences as migrant farm workers in Eloy and Table Top, Arizona. Shot by Alan Lomax, John Bishop, and Worth Long on the levee in Greenville, Mississippi, August 22, 1978.
 
Levee camp conversation, pt. 11: Joe Savage, Walter Brown, and Arthur (last name unknown) recall experiences at Parchman Farm (the Mississippi State Pen) and the levee camps. Shot by Alan Lomax, John Bishop, and Worth Long on the levee in Greenville, Mississippi, August 22, 1978.
     
   
"Dangerous Blues," sung by Joe Savage, former muleskinner and Parchman Farm inmate, on the levee in Greenville, Mississippi. Shot by Alan Lomax, Worth Long, and John Bishop, on September 2, 1978.
 
 

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