This Week in Texas Music History: John Lomax
This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll learn about a traveling folklorist who encountered everyone from cowboys to convicts.
Born September 23, 1867, in Goodman, Mississippi, John Lomax moved to Texas with his family in 1869. Growing up near the legendary Chisholm Trail, Lomax began to transcribe and study the folk songs of local cowboys. In 1906, he won a scholarship to Harvard University, which allowed him to pursue his passion for collecting the folk music of different ethnic groups throughout the country. While visiting Louisiana’s Angola prison in 1933, Lomax met a black singer [named Huddie Ledbetter] who called himself “Leadbelly.”
John Lomax helped Leadbelly win an early pardon from prison, and the two spent years recording and touring throughout the country. Lomax went on to serve as President of the American Folklore Society and a founder of the Texas Folklore Society.
Next time on This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll honor a man who helped establish the first Baptist music school in Texas.