Negro Folk Expression: Spirituals, Seculars, Ballads and Work Songs
Related Publications, Recordings, and Films
(Note: Several of the later records by Fred McDowell and articles about him in ephemeral publications have not been included.)
Books and Articles
David Evans, "Afro-American One-Stringed Instruments," Western Folklore 29 (October 1970): 229-45.
David Evans, "Black Fife and Drum Music in Mississippi," Mississippi Folklore Register 6 (Fall 1972): 94-107.
Barry Foster, "Mississippi Fred McDowell," Journal of Popular Culture 5 (Fall 1971): 446-51.
Larry Gunn, "Three Negro Folk Songs from the Northern Mississippi Delta," Mississippi Folklore Register 3 (Fall 1969): 89-94.
John W. Kyle, Reconstruction in Panola County, Mississippi Historical Society Publications, vol 13 (University, Mississippi, 1913), pp. 9-98.
George Mitchell, Blow My Blues Away (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1971).
Howard W. Odum, "Folk-Song and Folk-Poetry as Found in the Secular Songs of the Southern Negroes," Journal of American Folklore 24 (July/September, October/December 1911): 255-94, 351-96.
Howard W. Odum, "Religious Folk-Songs of the Southern Negro," American Journal of Religious Psychology and Education 3 (July 1909): 265-365.
Howard W. Odum and Guy B. Johnson, The Negro and His Songs: A Study of Typical Negro Songs in the South (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1925; reprint ed., Hatboro, Pa.: Folklore Associates, 1964).
James W. Silver, "Paul Bunyan Comes to Mississippi," Journal of Mississippi History 19 (April 1957): 93-119.
Peter J. Welding, "Fred McDowell Talking," in Mike Leadbitter, ed., Nothing But the Blues, an Illustrated Documentary (London: Hanover Books, 1971), pp. 145-46.
Frederick M. Wirt, Politics of Southern Equality: Law and Social Change in a Mississippi County (Chicago: Aldine Pub. Co., 1970). Foreword by Gunnar Myrdal.
Afro-American Folk Music from Tate and Panola Counties, Mississippi,Rounder #1515, Released 2000
This album presents an amazing array of African American folk music from the small farms and traditional rural communities of Tate and Panola Counties in the Mississippi Hill Country, just east of the more famous Delta region. The album features two generations of African American music-making, recorded by Alan Lomax in 1942 and by David Evans in 1969-71. Included are rare recordings of African American fife and drum bands, quills (panpipes), the one-stringed "bow diddley," fiddle, banjo, and other rare vocal and instrumental combinations. Complete with extensive background information and annotations, this is a must album for a broader understanding of African American musical traditions.
American Folk Songs for Children, Atlantic SD-1350. Contains two children’s songs from this area, recorded by Alan Lomax.
The Blues Roll On, Atlantic SD-1352. Contains four blues from this area, recorded by Alan Lomax. Both reissued on Sounds of the South as above.
Deep South...Sacred and Sinful, Prestige/International 25005. Contains four pieces from this area, including a blues, spirituals, and a fiddle piece, recorded by Alan Lomax.
Fred McDowell, Arhoolie F 1021, 1927 [1964-67] Two slipcases; cover title of vol 1: Delta Blues. Fred McDowell, vocals and guitar. Program notes by Chris Strachwitz and Pete Welding on slipcases.
Fred McDowell - Amazing Grace, Testament T-2219. Spirituals with the Hunter Chapel Singers, a gospel quartet, in an older harmonizing style. Reissued on CD 5004.
Fred McDowell & His Blues Boys, Arhoolie 1046.  Fred McDowell, vocals and guitar; Mike Russo, second guitar; John Kahn, double bass; Bob Jones, drums. Program notes by Pete Welding on slipcase.
Long Way from Home - The Blues of Fred McDowell, Milestone MSP 93003. Nine more blues, most without bottleneck. Reissued on OBC CD 535-2.
Portraits: Fred McDowell -The First Recordings, Rounder 1718, 1997. Fourteen tracks. From the Alan Lomax Collection.
Memphis Swamp Jam, Blue Thumb BTS 6000. 12-in. double LP. Contains two blues, one spiritual, and three fife and drum pieces from this area.
Mississippi Delta Blues, Vol. 1, Arhoolie 1041. Contains one blues and one fife and drum piece from this area, recorded by George Mitchell.
Mississippi Delta Blues, Vol. 2, Arhoolie 1042. Contains six blues by R. L. Burnside and and one by Rosa Lee Hill from this area, recorded by George Mitchell.
My Home Is in the Delta, Testament Records T-2208. [1965?] Blues and spirituals sung and played by Fred McDowell, in part with his wife Annie Mae. Recorded November 24, 1963, and February 24, 1964. Program notes by Peter J. Welding on slipcase. Reissued on CD 5019.
Negro Church Music, Atlantic SD-1351. Contains six spirituals from this area, some with instrumental accompaniment, recorded by Alan Lomax. Reissued on Sounds of the South as above.
O. B. McClinton Country, Enterprise ENS 1023. Country and western music by a black singer raised in the Gravel Spring community, recorded in 1972. (Note: McClinton started singing country and western only after he had left this area. His music is in no way typical of the black folk music of Tate and Panola Counties.)
O. B. McClinton Live at Randy’s Rodeo, Enterprise ENS 1037.
Obie from Senatobie, Enterprise ENS 1029. More of the same by McClinton, including the humorous title song about his home town.
Roots of the Blues, Atlantic SD-1348. Contains seven pieces from this area, including blues and fife and drums, recorded by Alan Lomax. Reissued on Sounds of the South as above.
Sounds of the South, Atlantic SD-1346. Contains four pieces from this area, including fife and drums, quills, and spirituals, recorded by Alan Lomax. Reissued on Sounds of the South as above.
Traveling through the Jungle, Testament 2223, 12-in. LP. Contains twelve pieces from this area, including home percussion, fife and drums, and quills, recorded by Alan Lomax and David Evans. Reissued on CD 5017.
The Golden Travelers, "Jesus Loves Me/New Walk," Designer PAG 7090. Two gospel songs by a group from Coldwater.
The Golden Travelers, "To (sic) Close to Turn Around/I Know for Myself I Been Borned Again," Designer 45-6889. Two more gospel songs.
The Harmonia Harminee, "Jesus Will Lead Me/He Is Mine," Tateco 445. Two gospel songs by a quartet from Sardis in existence since 1940. Recorded at the Senatobia radio station in the 1960s, this is the first record of the music of this area produced especially for the black buying public.
The Spiritual Harmonizers, "John Don’t Write No More/Will He Welcome Me," Designer 45-6993. Two gospel songs by a Tate County quartet.
The Spiritual Harmonizers, "Over the Hill/It’s a Needy Time," JCR Gospel 105-6. Two more gospel songs.
Joe Townsend, "If I Could Not Say a Word/Going Over the Hill," Designer 45-6885. Two church songs by a gospel singer from Coldwater, with guitar accompaniment.
Johnny Woods, "Long Haired Doney/Three O’Clock in the Morning," Oblivion 2. Two blues by a harmonica player from Como, recorded in 1972 by Tom Pomposello.
Buckdancer. 16 mm, black-and-white film, Radium Films. Produced by Bess Lomax Hawes, Alan Lomax, and Edmund Carpenter. Performance by fife player Ed Young from Como.
Gravel Springs Fife and Drum. 16 mm, color film, Center for Southern Folklore and Indiana University Audio-Visual Center. Produced by William Ferris, David Evans, and Judy Peiser.
Fred McDowell: Blues Maker. 16 mm film, Film Extension Department, University of Mississippi.