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Making The Film

Dreams and Songs of the Noble Old

Film by Alan Lomax
Produced by Mark Dibb, Penny Forster, Alan Lomax, Jaime Barrios
Cinematographer: Jim Brown, John Bishop, Nicholas Echeverria
Sound:
Editing: Mark Tobin with Howard Sharp, Jenny Campbell
Copyright: 1991, Association for Cultural Equity
58 minutes, Color
Original format: 3/4 inch videotape: U-matic, 1991
Distributor: Media_Generation
More Film Facts
Home streaming only. For other permissions apply to Alan Lomax or to the distributor, Media_Generation.


Preview one minute trailer - Comment on film


Dreams and Songs of the Noble Old is one of five films made from footage that Alan Lomax shot between 1978 and 1985 for the PBS American Patchwork series (1991). This film shows the talents and wisdom of elderly musicians, singers, and story-tellers who perform not for fame or fortune but to preserve and share their culture. Fiddle tunes and tales of moonshining and feuds from Tommy Jarrell (83) of Toast, N.C.; blues by Jack Owens (70s) and Sam Chatman (80s) of Mississippi; stories and songs by Janie Hunter (80 years old) of Johns Island, S.C, with a religious drama in her church; ballads sung by ex-coal miner and union organizer Nimrod Workman (91), of Chatteroy, W.Va.; footage from the Alabama Sacred Harp Convention in Fyffe, Alabama, with elderly leaders from the Wootten family; and jazz performed by old timers in Preservation Hall in New Orleans. Narrated by Alan Lomax. The Association for Cultural Equity’s Alan Lomax Archive channel on YouTube additionally streams outtakes from this film, strong performances by Sam Chatmon, Tommy Jarrell, Jack Owens, Nimrod Workman, Chester Wootten and other Sacred Harp Singers on Sand Mountain, Ala., and in Bremen, Ga.

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