The Man Who Recorded the World
By John Szwed
(Penguin Books, Paperback, 9780143120735, 448pp.)
Publication Date: December 27, 2011
Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover
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The definitive biography of Alan Lomax-from John Szwed,"the best music biographer in the business" (L.A. Weekly).
One of the most remarkable figures of the twentieth century, Alan Lomax was best known for bringing legendary musicians like Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Muddy Waters, Lead Belly, and Burl Ives to the radio and introducing folk music to a mass audience. Now John Szwed, the acclaimed biographer of Miles Davis and Sun Ra, presents the first biography of Lomax, a man who was as influential as he was controversial-trailed for years by the FBI, criticized for his folk- song-collecting practices, denounced by some as a purist and by others as a popularizer. This authoritative work reveals how Lomax changed not only the way everyone in the country heard music but also the way they viewed America itself.
John Szwed is the author of So What: The Life of Miles Davis and Space Is the Place: The Life and Times of Sun Ra, among other works. He is a professor of music and jazz studies at Columbia University. He lives in New York City.