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Lomax, John

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Definition: Lomax, John Avery from

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language

, John Avery 1867–1948.

American folklorist and musicologist. With his son Alan Lomax (1915–2002) he toured the country recording blues and folk musicians for the Library of Congress and various record companies.

Summary Article: Lomax, John A(very) (1867 – 1948) from The Crystal Reference Encyclopedia
Folklorist, born in Goodman, Mississippi, USA. He was raised in Texas, where as a teenager he began writing down cowboy songs. He taught and worked while earning his BA from the University of Texas (1895), and then received MAs in English from Texas (1906) and Harvard (1907). Encouraged by the Harvard faculty and enabled by Harvard fellowships, he began systematically collecting cowboy songs at a time when most academics looked down on such an interest; his Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads (1910) was a landmark compilation. In order to support his family, for 20 years he moved back and forth from work in university administration to investment and banking institutions, but he continued to collect and lecture on folksongs. In 1932 he finally began to receive adequate financial aid so that he could take to the road full-time, and assisted by his son, Alan Lomax, he travelled mostly throughout the S and W. He replaced the old horn-and-cylinder recording m...    Continue Reading

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