Black history spotlight for Jan.21: Leadbelly

Leadbelly

In 1918 musician Leadbelly was imprisoned in Texas for murder. According to tradition he won his early release in 1925 by singing a song for the governor of Texas. Leadbelly was imprisoned again, for attempted murder, in 1930. There he was “discovered” by folklorists John Lomax and Alan Lomax, who were collecting songs for the Library of Congress. Subsequently he published 48 songs.

 

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