In the 1950’s, Alan Lomax travelled througout Europe and made his home in London. There he assisted and had an important role in a “Folk revival” parallel to the one happening in the United States. Many young English of this time were deeply moved and influenced by American Folk Music, through concert performances, radio and records. The “Skiffle” craze of this years introduced the folk songs and Blues songs of America in a way The Kingston Trio and college folkgroups presented them to a wide young audience in the US. After American Blues and Folk gave the impulse to take the guitar and sing, many searched for their own folk music and soon an “English folk revival” was on his way and once again, Lomax had a vital role in this.
On this volume of the “World Library” Lomax used mostly recordings made by the B.B.C and some he recorded himself. It’s a good introduction to the old folk traditions of England, with ballads, dance and instrumental songs. Lomax pointed out in his introduction that many of this traditions were dying out in the 20th century because of the “Industrial revolution” that threatened the old rural village ways so this recordings are just a fascinating glimpse of the music that was played and sung in the “Old England”. Important folk singers are present here, the oldest being Phil Tanner, from Wales, with recordings made in the 1930’s, The Copper family and A.L Lloyd and Ewan McColl, who were deeply influential in the “English Folksong revival”.(Photos of Phil Tanner and Ewan Mc Coll with a young Peggy Seeger)