American Folklife Center

American  Folklife Center The American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress includes one of the largest ethnographic archives in the world, and preserves and presents folklife through research, archival preservation, public programs, and training.
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Operating as usual

"Hang down your head, Tom Dooley...." On May 4, 1959, The Kingston Trio scored a Grammy for Country and Western Performa...
05/04/2021

"Hang down your head, Tom Dooley...." On May 4, 1959, The Kingston Trio scored a Grammy for Country and Western Performance for their runaway hit, the North Carolina murder ballad "Tom Dooley." Hear the original field recording by Frank Proffitt at the link:

https://www.loc.gov/item/ihas.200196323/?loclr=fbafc

The Kingston Trio learned the song from John and Alan Lomax's book "Our Singing Country," which included a transcription of the recording at the link above; it was collected by Frank and Anne Warner from Frank Proffitt in North Carolina. The photo, which is by Frank Warner, shows Anne Warner adjusting the microphone to collect from Proffitt in 1941.

The 1959 event was the very first GRAMMY awards, given out at simultaneous galas held in New York and Los Angeles, for recordings released during the calendar year 1958. The award placed the Kingston Trio among such winners as Frank Sinatra, Henry Mancini, and Ella Fitzgerald, and Proffitt's song, one of AFC's archival treasures, among pop classics such as "Volare," "Tequila," and "Music from Peter Gunn."

Both the Frank Proffitt original and the Kingston Trio cover were added to the National Recording Registry in 2008. Find them in the complate listing in the years 1940 and 1958, respectively, and download a pdf article on each version, at the second link:

https://www.loc.gov/programs/national-recording-preservation-board/recording-registry/descriptions-and-essays/?loclr=fbafc

In July 2018, Frank and Anne Warner's sons Jeff and Gerrett gave a presentation about the Warner collection, in which Jeff tells the story of "Tom Dooley" along with many other fascinating stories from his parents' collecting. Find that video at the third link:

https://www.loc.gov/item/webcast-8513/?loclr=fbafc

"Hang down your head, Tom Dooley...." On May 4, 1959, The Kingston Trio scored a Grammy for Country and Western Performance for their runaway hit, the North Carolina murder ballad "Tom Dooley." Hear the original field recording by Frank Proffitt at the link:

https://www.loc.gov/item/ihas.200196323/?loclr=fbafc

The Kingston Trio learned the song from John and Alan Lomax's book "Our Singing Country," which included a transcription of the recording at the link above; it was collected by Frank and Anne Warner from Frank Proffitt in North Carolina. The photo, which is by Frank Warner, shows Anne Warner adjusting the microphone to collect from Proffitt in 1941.

The 1959 event was the very first GRAMMY awards, given out at simultaneous galas held in New York and Los Angeles, for recordings released during the calendar year 1958. The award placed the Kingston Trio among such winners as Frank Sinatra, Henry Mancini, and Ella Fitzgerald, and Proffitt's song, one of AFC's archival treasures, among pop classics such as "Volare," "Tequila," and "Music from Peter Gunn."

Both the Frank Proffitt original and the Kingston Trio cover were added to the National Recording Registry in 2008. Find them in the complate listing in the years 1940 and 1958, respectively, and download a pdf article on each version, at the second link:

https://www.loc.gov/programs/national-recording-preservation-board/recording-registry/descriptions-and-essays/?loclr=fbafc

In July 2018, Frank and Anne Warner's sons Jeff and Gerrett gave a presentation about the Warner collection, in which Jeff tells the story of "Tom Dooley" along with many other fascinating stories from his parents' collecting. Find that video at the third link:

https://www.loc.gov/item/webcast-8513/?loclr=fbafc

05/03/2021

The Samoan Studies Institute at American Samoa Community College formed the Students’ Association For Faʻasamoa (SAFF) in 2009. It is comprised of students at the college who are interested in learning about Samoan culture. Its purpose is to teach college students the Faʻasamoa, or the Samoan way, and to preserve its traditions. Since its inception, SAFF has been active in performing the Siva Samoa (traditional Samoan dance), and in teaching and practicing ancient Samoan customs. The dancers, under the direction of Molitogi Lemana, will be performing a 30-minute program of traditional dances.

Please join us on  May 5 for a performance by the Samoan Studies Institute Students’ Association For Fa'asamoa, an AFC F...
05/03/2021

Please join us on May 5 for a performance by the Samoan Studies Institute Students’ Association For Fa'asamoa, an AFC Facebook premiere. The ensemble is comprised of students at the college who are interested in learning about Samoan culture. The dancers, under the direction of Molitogi Lemana, will be performing a 30-minute program of traditional dances.

Learn more at the link: https://www.loc.gov/concerts/folklife/saff-samoa.html?loclr=fbafc

Please join us on May 5 for a performance by the Samoan Studies Institute Students’ Association For Fa'asamoa, an AFC Facebook premiere. The ensemble is comprised of students at the college who are interested in learning about Samoan culture. The dancers, under the direction of Molitogi Lemana, will be performing a 30-minute program of traditional dances.

Learn more at the link: https://www.loc.gov/concerts/folklife/saff-samoa.html?loclr=fbafc

Today we honor Pete Seeger on what would have been his 102nd birthday. The folksinger, banjo player, and political and e...
05/03/2021

Today we honor Pete Seeger on what would have been his 102nd birthday. The folksinger, banjo player, and political and environmental activist was born on May 3, 1919. Pete was so important to so many that it's hard to cover it all. At the American Folklife Center and its predecessor, the Archive of American Folk Song, Pete was, among other things, a friend and ally for 80 years; our first intern; a skilled fieldworker; an interviewee for our Civil Rights History Project; a collection donor of many recordings and films; a performer in our concert series; a speaker in our symposia; a keeper of our history; and a staunch supporter of our mission. When he passed away in 2014, we published an appreciation in Folklife Today with links to many of his activities with and for the Library of Congress. We still miss you, Pete!

The photo by Robert Corwin shows Pete visiting us at the Library of Congress in 2007.

https://blogs.loc.gov/folklife/2014/01/pete-seeger-may-3-1919-january-27-2014/?loclr=fbafc

Today we honor Pete Seeger on what would have been his 102nd birthday. The folksinger, banjo player, and political and environmental activist was born on May 3, 1919. Pete was so important to so many that it's hard to cover it all. At the American Folklife Center and its predecessor, the Archive of American Folk Song, Pete was, among other things, a friend and ally for 80 years; our first intern; a skilled fieldworker; an interviewee for our Civil Rights History Project; a collection donor of many recordings and films; a performer in our concert series; a speaker in our symposia; a keeper of our history; and a staunch supporter of our mission. When he passed away in 2014, we published an appreciation in Folklife Today with links to many of his activities with and for the Library of Congress. We still miss you, Pete!

The photo by Robert Corwin shows Pete visiting us at the Library of Congress in 2007.

https://blogs.loc.gov/folklife/2014/01/pete-seeger-may-3-1919-january-27-2014/?loclr=fbafc

May 2 is Orthodox Easter in 2021. In this interview with Natalie Michaluk about Ukrainian pysanky (Easter egg dyeing), f...
05/02/2021

May 2 is Orthodox Easter in 2021. In this interview with Natalie Michaluk about Ukrainian pysanky (Easter egg dyeing), folklorist Geraldine Johnson asks her about Easter traditions in the Ukranian Church and how Easter egg decorating is part of that (starting at about 12 minutes).
https://www.loc.gov/item/afc1991022_afs22378/?loclr=fbafc Rhode Island Folklife Project Collection, Library of Congress.

Image: Natalie Michaluk removing the wax from a completed Easter egg. Photo by Geraldine Niva Johnson, 1979. Rhode Island Folklife Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress: https://www.loc.gov/resource/afc1991022.afc1991022_gj_024/?sp=1

May 2 is Orthodox Easter in 2021. In this interview with Natalie Michaluk about Ukrainian pysanky (Easter egg dyeing), folklorist Geraldine Johnson asks her about Easter traditions in the Ukranian Church and how Easter egg decorating is part of that (starting at about 12 minutes).
https://www.loc.gov/item/afc1991022_afs22378/?loclr=fbafc Rhode Island Folklife Project Collection, Library of Congress.

Image: Natalie Michaluk removing the wax from a completed Easter egg. Photo by Geraldine Niva Johnson, 1979. Rhode Island Folklife Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress: https://www.loc.gov/resource/afc1991022.afc1991022_gj_024/?sp=1

Happy May Day! May first is celebrated as a spring holiday in many places in the Northern Hemisphere.  This is a recordi...
05/01/2021
Los Mayos de Albarracin (II) | Lomax Digital Archive

Happy May Day! May first is celebrated as a spring holiday in many places in the Northern Hemisphere. This is a recording of a May Pole song from Alan Lomax's fieldwork in Spain in 1952. https://archive.culturalequity.org/node/58852 The recording is housed in the American Folklife Center Archive and has been put online by the Association for Cultural Equity.

Find more examples of May Day songs recorded by Alan Lomax on the Association for Cultural Equity site at https://archive.culturalequity.org/solr-search/content/grid?search_api_fulltext=may%20day

On April 29, 1977, Antony Hellenberg and Jonas Dovydenas visited with Rudy Wacek, a player and builder of electronically...
04/29/2021

On April 29, 1977, Antony Hellenberg and Jonas Dovydenas visited with Rudy Wacek, a player and builder of electronically amplified zithers. Hellenberg recorded a long interview with Wacek for AFC, and Dovydenas took photos of the player and his instruments. The zither is a traditional instrument in Wacek's Austrian American community. Earlier in the week, on April 26, the collectors visited the Chicago Zither Club and recorded many performances. Find all the photos and recordings of zithers and zither players at the link!

https://www.loc.gov/search/?in=&q=wacek+zither&new=true&st=gallery&loclr=fbafc

On April 29, 1977, Antony Hellenberg and Jonas Dovydenas visited with Rudy Wacek, a player and builder of electronically amplified zithers. Hellenberg recorded a long interview with Wacek for AFC, and Dovydenas took photos of the player and his instruments. The zither is a traditional instrument in Wacek's Austrian American community. Earlier in the week, on April 26, the collectors visited the Chicago Zither Club and recorded many performances. Find all the photos and recordings of zithers and zither players at the link!

https://www.loc.gov/search/?in=&q=wacek+zither&new=true&st=gallery&loclr=fbafc

On April 28, 1788, Maryland became a state. Explore collections from the great state of Maryland with links to online ma...
04/28/2021
Research Guides: American Folklife Center Collections: Maryland: Introduction

On April 28, 1788, Maryland became a state. Explore collections from the great state of Maryland with links to online materials in this finding aid: https://guides.loc.gov/folklife-maryland?loclr=fbafc

Find more finding aids from the Library of Congress at https://guides.loc.gov/?loclr=fbafc

This guide provides access to ethnographic resources documenting expressive culture in the state of Maryland at the Library of Congress.

On April 27, 1939, John A. and Ruby T. Lomax recorded 15 songs from Mexican American singers in Texas, including several...
04/27/2021

On April 27, 1939, John A. and Ruby T. Lomax recorded 15 songs from Mexican American singers in Texas, including several from schoolchildren. Find the recordings at the link!

https://www.loc.gov/audio/?q=Lomax+%22April+27%22&loclr=fbafc

(The undated photo of Mexican American schoolchildren was taken by Alan Lomax in 1934, sometime in late April, also in Texas.)

On April 27, 1939, John A. and Ruby T. Lomax recorded 15 songs from Mexican American singers in Texas, including several from schoolchildren. Find the recordings at the link!

https://www.loc.gov/audio/?q=Lomax+%22April+27%22&loclr=fbafc

(The undated photo of Mexican American schoolchildren was taken by Alan Lomax in 1934, sometime in late April, also in Texas.)

The American Folklife Center is the repository for the StoryCorps archive, an archive of brief oral history interviews b...
04/26/2021

The American Folklife Center is the repository for the StoryCorps archive, an archive of brief oral history interviews between friends and loved ones, made famous by excerpts broadcast on NPR. StoryCorps interviews are recorded using StoryCorps booths, mobile booths, and apps. Five years ago today, on April 26, 2016, a StoryCorps mobile booth in an airstream trailer was in the middle of its visit to the Library of Congress, and staffers from StoryCorps were interviewed about their experiences touring the country collecting stories. View the video of the event at the link!

https://www.loc.gov/item/webcast-7429/?loclr=fbafc

Photo: StoryCorps staff members Naomi Blech, Felix Lopex, and Talya Cooper. Photo by Stephen Winick, AFC.

The American Folklife Center is the repository for the StoryCorps archive, an archive of brief oral history interviews between friends and loved ones, made famous by excerpts broadcast on NPR. StoryCorps interviews are recorded using StoryCorps booths, mobile booths, and apps. Five years ago today, on April 26, 2016, a StoryCorps mobile booth in an airstream trailer was in the middle of its visit to the Library of Congress, and staffers from StoryCorps were interviewed about their experiences touring the country collecting stories. View the video of the event at the link!

https://www.loc.gov/item/webcast-7429/?loclr=fbafc

Photo: StoryCorps staff members Naomi Blech, Felix Lopex, and Talya Cooper. Photo by Stephen Winick, AFC.

Address

101 Independence Ave SE
Washington D.C., DC
20540-4610

Closest Metro Stop: Capitol South (orange/blue line) Exit station using main exit Walk approximately 2 blocks N on 1st Street SE. Alternative Metro Stop: Union Station (red line) - .5 miles

Opening Hours

Monday 08:30 - 17:00
Tuesday 08:30 - 17:00
Wednesday 08:30 - 17:00
Thursday 08:30 - 17:00
Friday 08:30 - 17:00

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(202) 707-5510

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This will be wonderful! Join us!
So I have reason to believe that Willie Brennan from the Irish Folk Song Brennan on the Moor actually escaped and is my grandfather. Does anyone know anything about this song? I know Bob Dylan wrote extra verses for Freewheelin’ in 62 but decided not to produce it. My googling shows this. If he was right he had a ton of kids all over the place. And my great great great grandmother was “Single” after her “Husband died” in 1832. Her name was Catherine Shea Anyway here’s the Dylan song: Dylan’s Brennan on the Moor Come around you rovin' gamblers and a story I will tell About the greatest gambler, you all should know him well. His name was Will O' Conley and he gambled all his life, He had twenty-seven children, yet he never had a wife. And it's ride, Willie, ride, Roll, Willie, roll, Wherever you are a-gamblin' now, nobody really knows. He gambled in the White House and in the railroad yards, Wherever there was people, there was Willie and his cards. He had a reputation as the gamblin'est man around, Wives would keep their husbands home when Willie came to town. And it's ride, Willie, ride, Roll, Willie, roll, Wherever you are a-gamblin' now, nobody really knows. Sailin' down the Mississippi to a town called New Orleans, They're still talkin' about their card game on that Jackson River Queen. "I've come to win some money," Gamblin' Willie says, When the game finally ended up, the whole damn boat was his. And it's ride, Willie, ride, Roll, Willie, roll, Wherever you are a-gamblin' now, nobody really knows. Up in the Rocky Mountains in a town called Cripple Creek, There was an all-night poker game, lasted about a week. Nine hundred miners had laid their money down, When Willie finally left the room, he owned the whole damn town. And it's ride, Willie, ride, Roll, Willie, roll, Wherever you are a-gamblin' now, nobody really knows. But Willie had a heart of gold and this I know is true, He supported all his children, and all their mothers too. He wore no rings or fancy things, like other gamblers wore, He spread his money far and wide, to help the sick and the poor. And it's ride, Willie, ride, Roll, Willie, roll, Wherever you are a-gamblin' now, nobody really knows. When you played your cards with Willie, you never really knew Whether he was bluffin' or whether he was true. He won a fortune from a man who folded in his chair. The man, he left a diamond flush, Willie didn't even have a pair. And it's ride, Willie, ride, Roll, Willie, roll, Wherever you are a-gamblin' now, nobody really knows. It was late one evenin' during a poker game, A man lost all his money, he said Willie was to blame. He shot poor Willie through the head, which was a tragic fate, When Willie's cards fell on the floor, they were aces backed with eights. And it's ride, Willie, ride, Roll, Willie, roll, Wherever you are a-gamblin' now, nobody really knows. So all you rovin' gamblers, wherever you might be, The moral of this story is very plain to see. Make your money while you can, before you have to stop, For when you pull that dead man's hand, your gamblin' days are up. And it's ride, Willie, ride, Roll, Willie, roll, Wherever you are a-gamblin' now, nobody really knows.
Free online concert tonight, 5 PDT. Come enjoy an hour of original acoustic music. https://fb.me/e/yrdpYCfi
Hello all, I hope this is all right to share here. It's almost here! The 2020 Berea College Celebration of Traditional Music will take place online October 15-18 at this link: http://berea.edu/iss/live Times: Thursday, October 15, 7:00 P:M: Jake Blount Friday, October 16, 8:00 P.M.: Bob Lucas, Alice Gerrard and Kay Justice, Sheila Arnold, Guy Davis Saturday, October 17, 8:00 P.M.: Kevin Howard, Guy Davis, Big Possum String Band, Alice Gerrard and Kay Justice Sunday, October 18, 3:00 P.M.: Berea College Traditional Music Ensemble Showcase - Bluegrass Ensemble, Black Music Ensemble, Mariachi Berea, Folk-Roots Ensemble, Country Dancers, African-Latin Percussion Ensemble For more information, see https://www.berea.edu/.../annual-celebration-traditional.../ or write [email protected] PLEASE SHARE!!! See you then!
Still Time to Register! JOIN US OCTOBER 13-17: The American Folklore Society's annual meeting will be held virtually. The meeting theme is Centers/Peripheries: Connecting Beyond the Binaries. https://www.afsnet.org/page/2020AM "Pay What You Can" registration rates: Additional registration rates to make the meeting more accessible to non-members and those in precarious financial situations. JOIN US! #afsam20
Is is possible to contact anyone in Acquisitions at this time? I have sent Todd Harvey a couple of email messages and not received a reply. I have some questions about materials I am under agreement to send to the library. (I've been working diligently on these!) I hope there is a way to reach someone!
The link to join the event is not working !
How do I get to hear this music? Is it possible on an iPad?
Trying to hear concert now but unable
Walter Parks streaming Aug 12 Noon. Is this the place? Thanks.
Collections Bramuel Hayes Belcher (u.S.M.C.
Check out July 15, noon-1pm