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Lomax folk song program set for Feb. 13 at library

John Lomax III, whose grandfather and uncle were America's most revered collectors of folk songs, will perform selections from their musical harvest Tuesday, Feb. 13, at 6 p.m. in the South Cheatham County Public Library in Kingston Springs.


The program is free and open to the public. In keeping with the way most of these songs were first heard, Lomax performs them a cappella.


Lomax traces his musical roots back to his grandfather, John Avery Lomax, who in 1910 published “Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads,” an anthology of lyrics that set the standards of scholarship for future song collectors, chief among them his son Alan Lomax who would gather and annotate folk songs from various countries for the Library of Congress.

The elder Lomax's daughter, Bess Lomax Hawes, co-wrote the 1959 Kingston Trio pop hit, “MTA (The Man Who Never Returned”).


Lomax III did not add “performer” to his list of achievements until 2022, when, nearing the age of 78 he began a series of “Lomax on Lomax” house concerts to keep the family legacy current.


In these he sang such ancient songs as “The Buffalo Skinners” and “Home on the Range,” between which he told stories behind the songs and how they were acquired.


Long a resident of Nashville, Lomax has worked as a magazine journalist, record producer and distributor and talent manager for Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle and the Cactus Brothers, among others.

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