Alan Lomax at Fyffe
September 11, 2009 8:54 AM   Subscribe

Fifty years ago, Alan Lomax (folk music collector) recorded the first United States Sacred Harp Musical Association convention at Fyffe, Alabama. His recordings, published by the Library of Congress and later reissued by Rounder records, introduced Sacred Harp music to a wide audience outside the South. And, with the influx of many non-traditional singers since then, his recording is one of the best testaments to traditional Sacred Harp singing. This Saturday and Sunday, the United States Sacred Harp Musical Association returns to Fyffe. Get there early--it's going to be crowded. But check Youtube, Flickr and Facebook in the next few days--there's bound to be plenty of modern field recordings of the event. (Previously: Singing School, 'The Lost Tonal Tribe').
posted by wfitzgerald (10 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
"Awake, My Soul" is a great film. Highly recommended for anyone who wants to learn about sacred harp. Some chillingly beautiful music on there too.
posted by fire&wings at 8:56 AM on September 11, 2009 [3 favorites]

Also of interest: Salvation on Sand Mountain by Dennis Covington. Also also of interest: Fyffe (which sits atop Sand Mountain) was the butt of jokes for years due to its residents propensity to report sighting UFOs. Among Alabamians, Sand Mountain is shorthand for the worst redneck stereotypes. Fyffe is a melancholy, hard-used little town. One of my favorite local bands has written a song about it. Sorry for the derail. Sand Mountain has always intrigued me.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:13 AM on September 11, 2009 [1 favorite]

alan lomax should be canonized.
posted by msconduct at 11:13 AM on September 11, 2009 [2 favorites]

Darn! I was just preparing an FPP about this. Awesome job, wfitzgerald.

If you're really interested - Sacred Harp should be sung, not listened to. Find a singing in your area and show up! It's completely awesome.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 12:22 PM on September 11, 2009 [1 favorite]

"It's a long and Rocky Road..." Some fine Metafilter posts on Sacred Harp.
posted by Faze at 3:13 PM on September 11, 2009

Thanks! I love love love Sacred Harp, the most beautifully scary thing this side of Jonathan Edwards.
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:40 PM on September 11, 2009 [1 favorite]

It always warms this shapenote singer's soul to see a sacred harp post in the blue. I might also add that the duo Banjoape and Tim Eriksen, sacred harp banjo players I've touted here before, have teamed up to play a kickass arrangement of 230 Converting Grace.
posted by The White Hat at 4:02 PM on September 11, 2009

⍢ loves me some shape-note
posted by idiopath at 6:40 PM on September 11, 2009 [1 favorite]

First day pictures: (at Facebook; may require login)
posted by wfitzgerald at 5:36 AM on September 13, 2009

More pictures
posted by wfitzgerald at 7:00 PM on September 13, 2009

« Older Saving Face   |   Advertising in the public interest Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments