Selections from Florida Collections
Zora Neale Hurston and Alan Lomax documented children's singing games in Eatonville, Florida in 1935. Photo by Alan Lomax. [Prints and Phototographs, LOT 7414-C, no. N104].
Florida's warm climate, sandy beaches, and vibrant culture have lured generations of Americans to the "Sunshine State." The fourth most populous American state, Florida consists primarily of a peninsula that separates the Gulf of Mexico from the Atlantic Ocean. The northern part of the state, "The Panhandle," is subtropical and borders the southeastern states of Georgia and Alabama. The southern part is tropical and forms part of the coastline of the United States, with its east coast quite close to several Caribbean island nations. Settled by numerous American Indian nations, Florida attracted early European colonists from Spain, France, Britain, and Ireland, who brought with them enslaved peoples from throughout West Africa. Subsequent Floridians with roots in the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and all parts of the United States created and nurtured the state’s distinctive and varied cultural landscape.
The American Folklife Center has a particularly rich collection of Florida material, as well as a long-standing relationship with folklorists, ethnomusicologists, and other fieldworkers involved in documenting Florida's peoples. The American Folklife Center's earliest Florida recordings were made by John A. Lomax and his son Alan Lomax, who were successive heads of what was then called the Archive of American Folk Song at the Library of Congress.
For more information about the American Folklife Center's Florida collections and services, go to Foklife in Your State: Florida. For a more complete list of collections, see the finding aid, Florida Collections in the Archive of Folk Culture.
The audio recordings are in mp3, while the webcasts require free media software available from RealPlayer.
- Track 1. Booker T. Sapps. "The Weeping Worry Blues." Alan Lomax, Zora Neale Hurston, and Mary Elizabeth Barnicle Expedition Collection, 1935.
- Track 2. Gabriel Brown. "John Henry." Alan Lomax, Zora Neale Hurston, and Mary Elizabeth Barnicle Expedition Collection, 1935.
- Track 3. Fred Perry and Glenn Carver. "Lost Train Blues." John and Ruby Lomax 1939 Southern States Recording Trip, 1939.
- Track 4. Raiford Penitentiary inmates. "Take dis Hammer." John and Ruby Lomax 1939 Southern States Recording Trip, 1939.
- Track 5. Hule "Queen" Hines. "Barbara Allen." John and Ruby Lomax 1939 Southern States Recording Trip, 1939.
- Track 6. Mrs. Nick Alvanos. "The Spiritual Brother Song." Florida Folklife from the WPA Collections, 1937-1942, 1939.
- Track 7. Jeannie Castrounis. "Misirlou." Florida Folklife from the WPA Collections, 1937-1942, 1939.
- Track 8. Ramon Bermudez. "Five Cuban Drum Rhythms." Florida Folklife from the WPA Collections, 1937-1942, 1939.
- Track 9. Robert Butler, Theodore "Tea Roll" Rolle and unidentified Bahaman. "Hoist Up the John B Sail." Florida Folklife from the WPA Collections, 1937-1942, 1940.
- Track 10. Theodore "Tea Roll" Rolle. "Hoist Up the John B Sail." Florida Folklife from the WPA Collections, 1937-1942, 1940.
- Track 11. "Mobile Bay." John Becker and Alan Lomax Recordings of Negro Longshoremen from the Ball Steamship Company, 1943.
- Track 12. Harry Jumper. "Lullaby." Harry Jumper Seminole Songs, 1954.
- Tracks 13 & 14. Florida Folklife Program Boat Tour Guides Collection, 1980.
- Track 15. Arthur L. Rehme. "Interview." Submariner and Vietnam War Veteran. Veterans History Project, 2001 (webcast)
- Track 16. Cherie Shanks and James Garfield Ransom. "Interview." StoryCorps Collection, 2006.
- Track 17. Quanita Fermakis. "Interview. Orlando, Florida, September 17, 2001." The September 11, 2001 Documentary Project, 2001.
- Track 18. Aubry Ghent and Friends. "Sacred Steel." Homegrown Concert Series, Washington, DC, October 17, 2007. (webcast)
- Track 19. Stetson Kennedy. Stetson Kennedy and "Building Democracy in America," 2005 interview with Peggy Bulger. (webcast)