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[LeadBelly.] [Huddie Ledbetter.] Lomax, John A. and Alan. Negro Folk Songs as Sung By Leadbelly "King of the Twelve-String Guitar Players of the World," Long-Time Convict in the Penitentiaries of Texas and Louisiana. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1936. Small 4to. iv, 242pp. Original tan cloth lettered in red. Spine faded and tanned, very good without the dustwrapper. A newspaper article noting Lead Belly’s death is pasted to the front pastedown, and offset onto the front free endpaper. A very good or better copy. Cloth.

First edition, a signed copy, rare thus. A very interesting book about one of the greatest blues guitar players during the advent of recorded sound. The book contains a life story as given by Lead Belly as well as forty-nine songs with his descriptions transcribed in his vernacular. The Lomax’s, first John, and later joined by Alan, travelled with Lead Belly around the South, eventually heading for New York, where they spent another three months, by which time Lead Belly’s story (exaggerated at the very least) of release from prison based on the Governor hearing a recording of his singing had aroused the curiosity of audiences there. The Lomax’s set out to use the new technology of sound recording to document the folk song traditions of America and their recordings in the Library of Congress represent the earliest available sounds that would become the quintessential American artform: jazz and blues. A film was made in 1976 based on the life of Lead Belly, and he continues to be revered by guitar aficionados. An single auction record represents the only other example of a signed copy of this book that I have encountered.                   sold