John and Ruby Lomax's Southern States Recording Trip Recordings (1939: Raiford, Fla.)

Date: June 2, 1939

Source: S1576 , T86-242

Type: Sound

Download: MP3

Event Name

Collector or Fieldworker

Tradition Bearer

Genre or Occupation

Title of Work

  • Little Lonnie (Johnson)
  • Blind Child (Keel)
  • Work Dont Bother Me (Keel)
  • One Saturday Night (Keel)
  • Bad Lazarus (Reid)
  • Down By the Rocky Mountains (Richardson)
  • Three Nights Experience (Keel)
  • Lullaby (Brown)
  • Down By the Rocky Mountain (Richardson)
  • Prayer
  • John Henry (Brown/Thomas)
  • My Time Aint Long (Clifford Reid/Medlock/Sanford/Lois Brown)
  • This is the Way You Build a Bridge (Clifford Reid/Medlock/Sanford/Lois Brown)
  • You Must Be Born Again
  • Two Soldiers (Carver)
  • Oh Looky Here, Woman, What You Gonna Do (Joe Brown)
  • Oh the Sun Done Quit Shining (Thomas)
  • I am Gonna Roll on a Few Days Longer (Howard)
  • When I Wake Up In the Morning (Allen Reid)
  • Oh Captain Captan Reed (Dawson Johnson)

Ethnicity or Nationality

Place Name

Corporate or Conference Name


  • One reel to reel. (Copied onto an unnumbered audio cassette in S 1576, box 41). These recordings were created during John and Ruby Lomax's 1939 recording trip through the South. Touring eleven states, the husband and wife team gathered material for the Library of Congress's Archive of the American Folk Song (today the Archive of Folk Culture in the American Folklife Center). They were not working for the WPA at the time, as is sometimes thought; but they visited two of the same sites they recorded at during their 1936-1937 WPA trip to Florida. In these recordings the Lomaxes visited the Florida State Prison at Raiford in Union County (June 2-5). They recorded a total of 63 songs on acetate discs in Florida (the entire trip netted a full 267 discs, with over 600 titles). See the online exhibit for more about that 1939 expedition at (Also see other the reels of the 1939 trip: T86-241/243/223). For more detailed information on the recordings, see S 1579, box 3, for copies of the original LOC indexes. In 1986, the FFP staff made copies of many of these recordings onto reel to reels for inclusion to the Florida Folklife Archive. The originals are still housed with the Library of Congress.

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