Leadbelly and Josh White 1937 – 1946
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Leadbelly kicks off with an Untitled song (from the 1937 Library of Congress session) about the 1898 Spanish American War, which transformed the U.S.A. into a world power. The track “Ain’t Going Down” is from the live New York radio station WNYC Leadbelly session introduced by Woody Guthrie. In another radio session 2 months later Leadbelly recorded “Don’t Lose Your Daddy” and “You Can’t Lose Me Charlie”. With the entry of the U.S.A. into World War 2, Leadbelly recorded supportive songs such as “Uncle Sam Says”, “If You Want To Do Your Part”, “Hitler Song” and “Dear Mr. President/President Roosevelt”. Leadbelly also contributed to the war effort by performing for the Armed Forces Radio Service a version of “Rock Island Line”.
As part of Josh White’s support for the war effort, he go it together with friends to form the group The Union Boys, recording “Hold On”. Josh also recorded the tracks “Evil Hearted Man” and “One Meat Ball” for the AFRS. The rest of the tracks on this collection are from the sessions he recorded for Moe Asch. These include the tracks “Motherless Children”, “Number 12 Train”, “When I Lay Down”, “No More Blues”, “One Meat Ball” and “Trouble”. Further sessions recorded for Asch feature him singing on the track “Don’t Lie Buddy” with his old friend Leadbelly. Other tracks include “Beloved Comrade” and “Jelly Jelly”. The remaining titles “Free and Equal Blues”, “Take A Girl Like You” and “Whatcha Gonna Do” were recorded in 1945.
The bulk of Leadbelly’s recordings have already been issued on 12 Document Record CD’s and Josh White is represented by 7 volumes in the document series.