Support our efforts, sign up to a full membership!
(Start for free)
Register or login with just your e-mail address
Oldies 08/01/2015

Smithsonian Folkways To Release 'Lead Belly: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection' 5-Disc Set On February 24, 2015

Smithsonian Folkways To Release 'Lead Belly: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection' 5-Disc Set On February 24, 2015
New York, NY (Top40 Charts/ Smithsonian Folkways Recordings) Smithsonian Folkways Recordings is proud to present Lead Belly: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection - the first in-depth, career-spanning box set of songs, photos, and essays dedicated to one of America's most treasured 20th-century icons (due out February 24, 2015).

A companion to 2012's GRAMMY-winning Woody at 100: The Woody Guthrie Centennial Collection, Lead Belly: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection chronicles the recordings of Huddie "Lead Belly" Ledbetter (c. 1888­-1949) in 108 tracks over five discs, including Lead Belly's beloved classics "The Midnight Special," "Goodnight Irene," and "Black Girl (Where Did You Sleep Last Night)" among many others. The collection also boasts 16 previously unreleased recordings, including four never-before-available original songs, and radio programs Lead Belly made for WNYC which can be heard for the first time since airing in 1941.

Listen to a Sneak Preview, including the previously unreleased song "Been So Long (Bellevue Hospital Blues)," at

The set also features many rare photos, among them an intimate portrait taken shortly before his untimely death from ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) in 1949. It is one of the few known color photographs of the legendary musician.

Special Pre-Order available, including instant album download, limited-edition poster, and t-shirt:

Lead Belly: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection was compiled and produced by GRAMMY-winning Smithsonian Folkways archivist Jeff Place and Executive Director of the GRAMMY Museum Robert Santelli. The collection is housed in a 140-page, large format (12x12) book, with an introduction entitled 'A Man of Contradiction and Complexity' from Santelli and an illuminating essay 'The Life and Legacy of Lead Belly' by Place.

In addition, The GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles, CA is currently hosting an exhibition entitled 'Lead Belly: A Musical Legacy,' which showcases a collection of documents and lyrics, as well as his signature 12-string Stella guitar (on display through May, 2015). There will be more special events planned around the box set's release, with details to follow.

More info on Lead Belly:
Lead Belly is "the hard name of a harder man," said Woody Guthrie of his friend and fellow American music icon, who was born Huddie Ledbetter (c. 1888-1949). From the swamplands of Louisiana, the prisons of Texas, and the streets of New York City, Lead Belly and his music became cornerstones of American folk music and touchstones of African American cultural legacy. With his 12-string Stella guitar, he sang out a cornucopia of songs that included his classics "The Midnight Special," "Irene," "The Bourgeois Blues," and many more, which in turn have been covered by musical notables such as the Beach Boys ("Cotton Fields"), Creedence Clearwater Revival ("The Midnight Special"), Led Zeppelin ("Gallows Pole"), Van Morrison ("The Midnight Special"), Nirvana ("Where Did You Sleep Last Night?"), Odetta ("Looking for a Home" tribute album), Little Richard ("Rock Island Line"), Pete Seeger, Frank Sinatra ("Irene") and Tom Waits ("Irene"), among many others.

Lead Belly recorded with Folkways Records founder Moses Asch between 1941 and 1947, capturing some of the most important recordings in the history of American music.

Track List:

Disc 1
Irene (Goodnight Irene)
The Bourgeois Blues
Fannin Street (Mister Tom Hughes Town)
The Midnight Special
John Henry
Black Girl (Where Did You Sleep Last Night)
Pick a Bale of Cotton
Take This Hammer
Cotton Fields
Old Riley
Rock Island Line
The Gallis Pole
Ha-Ha This a Way
Sukey Jump
Boll Weevil
Scottsboro Boys
Governor O.K. Allen
Governor Pat Neff
There's a Man Going Around Taking Names
On a Monday
You Can't Lose Me, Cholly
Keep Your Hands Off Her
We Shall Be Free
Disc 2
Alabama Bound
Almost Day
Fiddler's Dram
Green Corn
Sally Walker
Bring Me a Little Water, Silvy
Julie Ann Johnson
Linin' Track
Whoa, Back, Buck
Shorty George
Ham and Eggs*
Out On the Western Plain
Noted Rider
Meeting at the Building
Good, Good, Good (Talking, Preaching)/We Shall Walk Through the Valley
Ain't You Glad (The Blood Done Signed My Name)
I'm So Glad, I Done Got Over*
The Hindenburg Disaster
Ella Speed
Haul Away Joe
Old Man
Sweet Jenny Lee
Jean Harlow
Queen Mary
Disc 3
Good Morning Blues
Sail On, Little Girl
Easy Rider
Poor Howard
Duncan and Brady
How Long, How Long
T.B. Blues
Jim Crow Blues
John Hardy
Outskirts of Town
4, 5, and 9
In the Evening (When the Sun Goes Down)
Red Cross Store Blues
Diggin' My Potatoes
Blind Lemon
When a Man's a Long Way from Home
Excerpt from "The Lonesome Train"
National Defense Blues
Hitler Song (Mr. Hitler)
Big Fat Woman
Been So Long (Bellevue Hospital Blues)**
Disc 4
WNYC—Folk Songs of America—Lead Belly*
Grey Goose
Boll Weevil
Yellow Gal
Ha-Ha This a Way
Leaving Blues
Irene (Outro)

WNYC—Folk Songs of America—Lead Belly and the Oleander Quartet*
Almost Day
Blues in My Kitchen, Blues in My Dining Room
I Went Up on the Mountain
Good Morning Blues
Baby, Don't You Love Me No More
T.B. Blues
Irene (Outro)

If It Wasn't For Dicky*
What's You Gonna Do When the World's on Fire (with Anne Graham)*
Rock Me (Hide Me in Thy Bosom) (with Anne Graham)*
Packin' Trunk Blues*
Leaving Blues
How Come You Do Me Like You Do?*
One Dime Blues*
I'm Going to Buy You a Brand New Ford**
Jail-House Blues
Shout On
Come and Sit Down Beside Me
Red River*
Disc 5 - Last Sessions
Yes, I Was Standing in the Bottom
Ain't Going Down to the Well No More (Version 2)
Everytime I Go Out**
Go Down, Old Hannah
Black Betty
Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out (with Bessie Smith)*
Ain't It a Shame to Go Fishin' on a Sunday
Relax Your Mind
Princess Elizabeth**
Silver City Bound
The Titanic
House of the Rising Sun
It's Tight Like That
Diggin' My Potatoes
Springtime in the Rockies
Backwater Blues
Didn't Old John Cross the Water
De Kalb Blues
They Hung Him on the Cross (Version 1)
They Hung Him on the Cross (Version 2)
In the World
*Previously Unreleased
**Previously Unreleased Original Song
This project was produced in coordination with the Lead Belly Estate, The John Reynolds Collection/Lead Belly Society, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Most read news of the week

© 2001-2022 (S4)
about | advertise | site map
contact | privacy
Page gen. in 0.7836010 secs // 4 () queries in 0.007551908493042 secs