Famed folklorist Alan Lomax prowled through Michigan on his legendary 10 year cross-country trip, collecting American folk music for the Library of Congress. In that collection is a lively reel by a fiddler named Patrick Bonner recorded on Beaver Island, Michigan in 1938.
Now, Alan Lomax’s hundreds of Michigan recordings are being presented in a traveling exhibition from Michigan State University. It’s called Michigan Folksong Legacy: Grand Discoveries from the Great Depression.
It opens this Friday, November 1st at the Dennos Museum Center in Traverse City, where it will run till January 5th.
Dr. Laurie Sommers is a folklorist, an ethnomusicologist and Michigan’s program coordinator for the Lomax Michigan Legacy Project. And, Todd Harvey is the curator of the Alan Lomax Collection at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, where you’ll find the largest archive of recorded folk music in the world. They joined us today to tell us more about the project.
For more information on the 75th Anniversary of Alan Lomax's 1938 field trip recordings through Michigan click here.
Listen to the full interview above.