Root Hog Or Die: Lomax at 100/101: track list

“Root Hog Or Die,” a 6-LP box-set of 100 songs that I compiled to commemorate Alan Lomax’s centennial year, is now, finally, available through Mississippi Records. The title, I swear, was their idea and not mine, although none other that any of us could devise quite got to the experience of reckoning with the fruits of Lomax’s 7-decade recording career, to say nothing of the tireless persistence of his epic enterprise. That the record pressing plant finally got the job finished in Spring 2016 and not, as planned, in late 2015, is luckily if unintentionally vindicated by the fact that there are actually 101 songs on the set. It’s safe to say too that we could add a new one from Lomax’s collections every year for the next hundred or more and not begin to diminish the quality of the compilation.


I’ll post my introduction to the set here soon, but I’m rushing to use this space first to apologize and make up for an oversight on my part that is very out of character, and over which I’ll admit I’ve lost some sleep. I am a rabid and anxious proofreader, perennially reluctant to let projects out of my hands until I’m reasonably confident they are totally error free, or, rather, that whatever errors I didn’t catch would likely only be catchable by someone similarly obsessive. This time, however, I neglected to note the omission of a detailed track list for the set; one that I had compiled but, after being edited down to only artists and titles for inclusion on the back cover of the box, I completely failed to have reinserted. A recording timeline in the back of the set’s booklet can be used to locate and date all 101 tracks but the personnel information, as well as specific recording dates and sites, are lacking, and I’m abashed. Here’s that list now, with the hopes that a second pressing of the set will include it, and that folks who have noted its absence will find their way to it here. If I could kick you some change to cover your printing and collating of it, I would do. I hope you enjoy Root Hog Or Die. 


1. Alan Lomax: I’m A Rambler, I’m A Gambler

Lomax, vocal and guitar. 1959.

2. Sonny Boy Williamson, Memphis Slim, and Big Bill Broonzy: I Could Hear My Name A Ringin’

Williamson, vocal and harmonica; Slim, piano; Broonzy, bass. Decca Studios, New York City. March 2, 1947.

3. Anita Wilkins and group: One, Two, Three
Wilkins and unidentified schoolchildren, vocals. Brick Kiln Village, Nevis. July 10, 1962.

4. Celeste Cappelli and group: Ol Carneàl El Va El Vé (Carnival Comes and Goes)
Celeste Cappelli, Pace Cominelli, Gina Bonetti, Romolo Cappelli, and Guido Botti, vocals. Parre, Bergamo, Lombardia, Italy. September 23, 1954.

5. Edward King: Le Jour De L’an (New Year’s Day)
King, vocal and podorhythmie. Baraga, Michigan. October 12, 1938.

6. Steven Wright: Hambone*
Wright, vocal and body percussion. Harlem, New York City. 1950.

7. Sheila Kay Adams: Dinah*

Adams, vocal and banjo. Burton Cove, Sodom Laurel, Madison Co., North Carolina. September 6 or 7, 1982.

8. Rev. R.C. Crenshaw & Greater Harvest M.B. Church congregation: Steal Away / Didn’t Hear Nobody Pray*
Crenshaw and congregation, vocals. Greater Harvest Missionary Baptist Church, Memphis, Tennessee. October 4, 1959.

1. Ferdinand “Jelly Roll” Morton: Alabama Bound

Morton, vocal and piano. Coolidge Auditorium, Library of Congress, Washington D.C. May 23, 1938.

2. Clark Kessinger and band: Sally Ann Johnson
Kessinger, fiddle; Gene Meade, guitar; Wayne Hauser, banjo.
Newport Folk Festival, Newport, Rhode Island. July 21-24, 1966.

3. Frederick McQueen and group: Sand Gone In My Cuckoo Eye
McQueen, lead vocal, with unidentified men, vocals. Sponge dock, Nassau, Bahamas. July 1935.

4. United Sacred Harp Musical Association: New Prospect
56th Annual United Sacred Harp Musical Association Convention, vocals.

Corinth Baptist Church, Fyffe, Alabama. September 12, 1959.

5. Abraham “Aapo” Juhani: Finnish Waltz*

Juhani, vocal and accordion. Calumet, Michigan. September 27, 1938.

6. Rosa Lee Hill: Faro*

Hill, vocal and guitar. Como, Mississippi, September 25, 1959.

7. Jasimuddin: banshi instrumental*
Jasimuddin, banshi (bamboo flute)

Probably London, England. Circa 1951.

8. Alphonse Picou and Paul Dominguez, Jr.: High Society

Picou, clarinet; Dominguez, guitar. At the home of Alphonse Picou, New Orleans, Louisiana. April 3, 1949.

1. Neal Morris: Sing Anything

Morris, vocal and guitar. Timbo, Arkansas. October 6, 1959.

2. Banda de Castelló de la Ribera: Como Las Propias Rosas

Members unidentified. Valencia City, Spain. August 7, 1952.

3. Church of God In Christ congregation: Amen, Amen, Amen*

Unidentified vocals, guitar, and hand-clapping. Mohead Plantation, Moon Lake, near Lula, Mississippi. July 1941.

4. Dennis McGee: Madame Young / Mon Chère Bébé Créole*

McGee, vocal and fiddle. Eunice, Louisiana, August 9, 1983.

5. Margaret Barry: Her Mantle So Green

Barry, vocal and banjo. At a song swap in Lomax’s flat, Camden Town, London. November 1, 1953.

6. Beatrice Dick and group: Meet Me On the Road (Carriacou 1962)

Dick, lead vocal, with mixed group, vocals and hand-clapping. La Resource, Carriacou, Grenada. August 2, 1962.

7. Luigino Scollo and Pietro Guarrasi: Nnuena (Christmas novena)

Scollo, vocal; Guarrasi, cane flute; unidentified guitar, snare drum, and tamborine. Modica, Sicily. July 12, 1954.

8. Hobart Smith: Cindy

Smith, piano. At the home of Preston Smith, Bluefield, Virginia. August 24, 1959.

9. Isla Cameron: Pu’in Bracken (Pulling Bracken)

Cameron, vocal. Glasgow, Scotland. August 1951.

1. Skip James: Cherry Ball Blues

James, vocal and guitar. Newport Folk Festival, Newport, Rhode Island. July 21-24, 1966.

2. Son House: Downhearted Blues*

House, vocal and guitar. Newport Folk Festival, Newport, Rhode Island. July 21-24, 1966.

3. Baile de Ibio (Warrior Dance)*

Unidentified bigaro (conch) and drums. Zaragoza, Aragón, October 13 or 14, 1952.

4. John Steven: Big Kilmarnock Bonnet.

Steven, lead vocal with Jimmy MacBeath, John Strachan, and others unidentified, vocals. The Commercial Hotel, Turriff, Scotland. July 17, 1951.

5. La Roux Chayopye: Chèz-O, Prete M Yon Chèz-O (Chair, Oh! Let Me Have A Chair)

Unidentified vaksin-s (single-note trumpet); tchatcha (rattle); graj (scraper); sifle (whistle). Pont Beudet, Haiti. January 1937.

6. Wade Ward: Train On the Island*

Wade, banjo. Galax, Virginia, August 31, 1959.

7. Elmer Barton: Arkansas Traveler*

Barton, fiddle. Quebec, Vermont. November 1937.

8. Bobby Jean Hemphill, Ruby Hemphill, Lucille Rice: Cornbread Rough, Biscuit Tough*

Hemphill, Hemphill, and Rice, vocals. Senatobia, Mississippi. September 26, 1959.

1. Almeda Riddle: Down In Arkansas

Riddle, vocal. Greers Ferry, Arkansas. October 6 or 7, 1959.

2. Paddy Breen & Michael Coleman: Jolly Tinker / The Pretty Girls of Mayo*

Breen, whistle; Gorman, fiddle. Camden Town, London. 1952.

3. McKinley Peebles and Bessie Jones: You Got To Reap What You Sow / A Little Talk With Jesus Makes It Right

Peebles, vocal and guitar; Jones, vocal. New York City. November 11, 1961.

4. Harvey Porter: Since You Have Disdained Me I’ll Cross the Deep Blue Sea*

Porter, vocal. Salyersville, Kentucky. October 23, 1937.

5. Canray Fontenot, Bois Sec Ardoin, and Freeman Fontenot: Bonsoir Moreau *

Fontenot, vocal and fiddle; Freeman Fontenot, accordion; Ardoin, triangle. Newport Folk Festival, Newport, Rhode Island. July 21-24, 1966.

6. Bill Broonzy: In A Shanty In Old Shanty Town*

Broonzy, vocal and guitar. Paris, France. March 13, 1952.

7. Jimmy MacBeath: Tramps and Hawkers*

MacBeath, vocal. At the Edinburgh People’s Festival Ceilidh, Edinburgh, Scotland. August 30, 1951.

8. Charles Barnett: Remember Jesus Died When He Was Young*

Barnett, vocal and percussion. Weems, Virginia, May 5, 1960.

9. Venturina Marandella: Ninna Nanna

Marandella, vocal. Positano, Campania, Italy. December 1954.

1. John Davis and the Georgia Sea Island Singers: Read ‘Em John*

Davis, lead vocal, with Mable Hillery, Bessie Jones, and Emma Lee Ramsey, vocals. Central Park, New York City. August 1965.

2. Unidentified men: strigaturi*

Unidentified, vocal and trumpet. Dragus, Brasov, Southern Transylvania. August 1964.

3. Unidentified women: Flirtation Dance*
Unidentified, vocals, with Christopher Conner, guitar.

Women’s League of the South Hill Methodist Church, South Hill Village, Anguilla. July 4, 1962.

4. Brendan Behan: Zoological Gardens*

Behan, vocal. Possibly at Radio Eireann, Dublin. Circa 1951.

5. Pretty White Eagles Mardi Gras Indians: Indian Red*

Gerald “Big Chief Jake” Millon, lead vocal, with unidentified Pretty White Eagles, vocals and percussion. Darryl’s (perhaps Darrell’s) Lounge, 7th Ward, New Orleans, Louisiana. May 1982.

6. Compagna Sacco: Lenga Serpentina (Serpent Tongue)
Members of the Compagna Sacco: Giacomo Onda “Giá Brüjú,” Ninì Lupi “Susena,” Pì Terralibera (d’Adriana), Mirandino Crespi, “Bertì du Paramü,” and Redentore Rebaudo, vocals. Ceriana, Liguria, Italy. October 11 or 12, 1954.

7. Emma Hammond: Laura Lee*
Hammond, vocal and banjo. Lexington, Alabama. November 9-11, 1959.

8. Elizabeth Austin and group: Sailing In the Boat When the Tide Run Strong
Austin and unidentified women, vocals and hand-clapping. Old Bight, Cat Island, Bahamas. July 1935.

9. Brother Alec Stamps & Rose Hill M.B. Church congregation: When I Reach That Other Shore*

Stamps, lead vocal, with unidentified congregants, vocals. Rose Hill Missionary Baptist Church, Greenville, Mississippi. February 7, 1948.

10. Fred McDowell: Lord Have Mercy

McDowell, vocal and guitar. Como, Mississippi. September 25, 1959.

1. Vera Ward Hall: When I Can Read My Titles Clear*

Hall, vocal. At Alan Lomax’s apartment, Greenwich Village, New York City. May 23, 1948.

2. Fiddlin’ Joe Martin and group: Going to Fishing

Martin, vocal and washboard; Willie Brown, guitar; Leroy Williams, harmonica. At Clack’s store, Lake Cormorant, Mississippi. August 24-31, 1941.

3. Harry Cox: Cruising Round Yarmouth†

Cox, vocal. At Alan Lomax’s flat, London, December 2, 1953.

4. Shirley Collins: Rambleaway*

Collins, vocal and banjo. Likely at Alan Lomax’s apartment, Greenwich Village, New York City. Likely Summer 1959.

5. Dawson “Little Daugh (or Daw)” Henson: Fare You Well My Little Annie Darling*

Henson, vocal and guitar. Botto on Billy’s Branch, near Manchester, Clay Co., Kentucky. October 11, 1937.

6. Herth Colaire and group: Join This Food Campaign*

Colaire with Ursula Landa, Ruthrie Phelbert, Bertina Vigilant, and Boniface Vigilant, vocals. La Plaine, Dominica, June 25, 1962.

7. Cedar Place children: My Gal’s A Corker

Unidentified among the following: Jack Mearns, Kathleen Mearns, Pat Cushnie, Jennifer Cushnie, Jim Hunter, Willie Hunter, Norma Watt, Tom Watt, Arthur Ronald, Christopher Ronald, and/or Gwen Ronald, vocals. At the home of John Mearns, 5 Cedar Place, Aberdeen, Scotland. July 15, 1951.

8. Alice Gibbs: Jerusalem Cuckoo*

Gibbs, lead vocal and (presumably) guitar, with unidentified chorus vocals. Sint Eustatius. 1967.

1. Uncle Alec (Eck) Dunford: Memories of the 1940 National Folk Festival / Fisher’s Hornpipe*

Dunford, vocal and fiddle, with Uncle Charlie Higgins, fiddle. At the Seventh Annual Old Fiddler’s Convention, Felts Park, Galax, Virginia. July or August 1941.

2. Duke of Iron and group: Calypso Invasion

Duke of Iron (Cecil Anderson), vocal and cuatro, with Gerald Clark and His Invaders: Clark, leader and guitar; Victor Pacheco, fiddle; Gregory Felix, clarinet; Albert Morris, piano; “Hi” Clark, double bass; Simeon or DeLeon (full names unknown), percussion. “Calypso At Midnight” concert at Town Hall, New York City. December 21, 1946.

3. Waulking group: Mo nighean donn á Còrnaig*

Mrs. Peter MacCormick, Archie MacDonald, Fanny MacIsaac, Mrs. A.J. MacLellan, Catriona A. MacMillan, Effie Monk, Penny Morrison, and Kate Nicholson, vocals. At the Benbecula airport, Balivanich, Benbecula, Scotland. June 24, 1951.

4. Calvin Frazier and Sampson Pittman: This Old World’s In A Tangle

Frazier, vocal and guitar; Pittman, guitar. Detroit, Michigan. October 15, 1938.

5. Unidentified fishermen: Tammuriata (drum rhythms)*

Unidentified vocal, snare drum, side drum, percussion, and jews harp. On the beach at Positano, Campania, Italy. December 1954.

6. Jeannie Robertson: Wi’ My Rovin’ Eye

Robertson, vocal. At a song swap in Lomax’s flat, Camden Town, London. November 1, 1953.

7. Bessie Jones: Diamond Joe

Jones, vocal. At Lomax’s apartment, Greenwich Village, New York City. October 6, 1961.

8. Sid Hemphill and group: So Soon I’ll Be At Home

Hemphill, vocal and fiddle; Lucius Smith, banjo; Alec Askew, guitar; Will Head, bass drum. At a picnic at the Funky Fives (a.k.a. Po’ Whore’s Kingdom), near Sledge, Mississippi. August 15, 1942.

1. Texas Gladden: Cold Mountains

Gladden, vocal. At the home of Preston Smith, Bluefield, Virginia. August 25, 1959.

2. Bob Dylan: Masters of War*

Dylan, vocal and guitar. At Lomax’s apartment, Greenwich Village, New York City. January 1963.

3. Ray Hicks: Reuben Train*

Hicks, vocal and harmonica. Banner Elk, Beech Mountain, North Carolina. September 8 or 9, 1982.

4. Davie Stewart: MacPherson’s Rant

Stewart, vocal and accordion. At Lomax’s flat, Camden Town, London. December 1957.

5. Bukka White: Hundredth Man Blues*

White, vocal and guitar; Howlin’ Wolf, vocal asides. Newport Folk Festival, Newport, Rhode Island. July 21-24, 1966.

6. Emperor Mackenze: I Wonder Where My Mother Has Gone*

Mackenze, vocal. Long Cay, South Andros Island, Bahamas. October 30, 1979.

7. Unidentified street vendor: Coco rico de la Habana (Good coconuts from Havana)*

Unidentified man, vocal. At the San Agustín market, Grenada, Andalucía, Spain. September 8, 1952.

1. Babsy McQueen and group: Roll Roll Roll and Go

McQueen, lead vocal, with mixed group, vocals. La Fortune, Grenada. August 5, 1962.

2. Indian Bottom Association of Old Regular Baptists: The Day Is Past and Gone*

Jack Brown, lead vocal, with unidentified congregants, vocals. At Mount Olivet Old Regular Baptist Church, Blackey, Kentucky. September 5, 1959.

3. John Llewellyn Edwards and the Treorchy Male Choir: Cosher Bailey Had An Engine*

Edwards, lead vocal, with David John Goodridge, David Harris Jones, Harry Price, Thomas John Price, and William Thomas, vocals. Treorchy, Wales. December 8, 1953.

4. Cecil Augusta: Stop All the Buses

Augusta, vocal and guitar. Memphis, Tennessee. September 30, 1959.

5. Troupe of Monsieur Mohamed ben Abderrahmane: Ya Malikna (Oh, Our King)*

Tahar ben Larbi, lead vocal, with Abdelkader ben Abderrahmane, Mohamed ben Abderrahmane, Mohamed ben Lakhalifa, and Ahmed Benjilali, bendir, darbaka, nay, and hand-clapping (precise roles unspecified). At a wedding in Erfoud, Errachidia, Meknès-Tafilalet, Morocco. September 17, 1967.

6. Epifanio Capellán and group: Yo Sí La Quería*
Capellán, vocal and accordion, with unidentified güira, tambora, and vocals.

Dominican Republic. 1967.

7. Raphael Hurtault and group: Di Yo Pa Hele Pou Nou

Hurtault, lead vocal, with unidentified men, vocals. La Plaine, Dominica. June 25, 1962.

8. Sophie Loman Wing and group: I’ll Be Waiting There*
Wing, lead vocal (although it has been argued that Zora Neale Hurston is the foremost lead), with mixed group, vocals. Frederica, St. Simons Island, Georgia. June 1935.

1. “22” and group: Early In the Morning
“22” (Benny Will Richardson), lead vocal and axe, with “Tangle Eye” (Walter Jackson), “Hard Hat” (Willie Lacey), and “Little Red,” vocals and axes.

Camp B, Parchman Farm (Mississippi State Penitentiary), Mississippi. November or December 1947.

2. Rev. Olsie Cowan and Spiritual Baptist congregation: Prayer/Doption*

Cowan with John D. Smith (Priest), Medford Joshua (Priest), Bennette Baptist (Sexton), Percival Joshua (Treasurer), Florence Cowan (Mother Superior), Mary McSween (Mother Healer), Adris Matisse (Mother Assistant), Emelda Smith (Mother Assistant), Elena Paul (Nurse), and Sister Jacob (Nurse), vocals and hand-clapping. At the home of Louise St. Hill, Syne Village, Trinidad. May 1, 1962.

3. Jean Ritchie: Nottamun Town*

Ritchie, vocal. At Alan Lomax’s apartment, Greenwich Village, New York City. May 5, 1949.

4. Inez Muñoz and Grupo de Cádiz: Fandango de Comares*
Muñoz, vocal and castanets; Antonio de Avila, guitar; unidentified, bandurria.

Palma Folk Festival, Palma de Mallorca, Spain. June 23, 1952.

5. Dennis McGee: Two Step de Eunice*

McGee, fiddle. Eunice, Louisiana. August 9, 1983.

6. Belton Sutherland: Blues #2*

Sutherland, vocal and guitar. At the home of Clyde Maxwell, near Canton, Madison Co., Mississippi. September 3, 1978.

7. Mark Anderson: High Force Agricultural Show*
Anderson, vocal.

Middleton-In-Teesdale, Durham, England. April 20, 1951.

8. Unidentified Amazigh man: Al-Hamdulillah (Thanks Be to God)*

Unidentified, vocal. Aguelmouss, Ouarzazate, Souss-Massa-Drâa, Morocco. September 1967.

1. Southern Fife & Drum Corps: Little and Low (Oree/Ida Reed)* (NYC 1965)

Ed Young, vocal and fife; Lonnie Young, Sr., snare drum; G.D. Young or Lonnie Young, Jr., bass drum. Central Park, New York City. August 1965.

2. Francilia: Mèt Kafou Men Djab-la (Master of the Crossroads, Here Is the Devil)

Francilia (surname unknown), vocal. At the Möses compound, Carrefour Dufort, Haiti. April 7-12, 1937.

3. Kitty Gallagher: Keen for a dead child

Gallagher, vocal. Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, Ireland. February 5, 1951.

4. Fred and Annie Mae McDowell: Jesus Gonna Make Up My Dying Bed

Fred, vocal and guitar; Annie Mae, vocal. Como, Mississippi. September 25, 1959.

5. Ballinakill Ceilidhe Band: Grace’s Favorite*

Aggie Whyte, fiddle; Bridie Whyte, fiddle; John Dervan, fiddle; Thomas Rourke, accordion; Martin Grace, accordion; Eddie Moloney, flute; Jack Coughlan, flute. At the railroad hotel, Galway City, Co. Galway, Ireland. February 1, 1951.

6. Bascom Lamar Lunsford: Free A Little Bird*

Lunsford, vocal and banjo. At the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival, Asheville, North Carolina. July or August 1941.

7. John Strachan: Mormond Braes

Strachan, vocal. At the Edinburgh People’s Festival Ceilidh, Edinburgh, Scotland. August 30, 1951.

8. Bright Light Quartet: I’m Tired

Shedrick Cain, James Campbell, Arnold Fisher, and Lawrence Hodge, vocals; Robert Beane, guitar. Weems or White Stone, Virginia. April 6, 1960.

9. Dolores Fernández Geijo: Duérmete, niño angelito (Sleep, angel baby)*

Geijo, vocal. Val de San Lorenzo, León, Spain. November 3, 1952.

10. Unidentified men: I Bid You Goodnight

Unidentified, vocal. Andros Island, Bahamas. August 1935.

*Previously unreleased
†Previously unreleased in its entirety

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