Houston Matters

Lomax Legacy: Son Releases Album Of His Father Singing His Favorite Folk Songs

John Lomax III has released an album of his father, John Avery Lomax, Jr., singing some of his favorite folk songs.

Folk: John Avery Lomax, Jr.

The Lomax Family is well known for its connections to — and documentation of — American folk music. And the family has plenty of connections to Houston. And, now, one family member has released some recordings that shed some light on a lesser-known member of the family.

Plenty of people will know the name John Avery Lomax. He and his son, Alan Lomax, are well known for traveling the South and recording songs and interviews with musicians for the Archive of American Folk Song at the Library of Congress.

John Avery Lomax had another son — John Avery Lomax, Jr., and he grew up hearing his father sing much of the music he recorded and documented in his work. And while John Jr. himself isn’t as well known as his father and his brother, he still had a connection to music and some pretty interesting figures from musical history. For example, he founded the Houston Folklore Society, frequently performed folk songs solo onstage — without any musical accompaniment — and even managed legendary Houston bluesman Lightnin’ Hopkins for a time.

All that exposure to folk music made John Jr. sit down and record some of the dozens of folk songs he knew. Eventually, his son, John Lomax III, inherited the tapes, and now he’s released a CD of his father singing a few of those songs as an album called, simply, “Folk.”

At the time of the album’s release in 2017, Houston Matters producer Michael Hagerty talked with John Lomax III to learn more about his father and to hear some of his recordings.

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Michael Hagerty

Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the Senior Producer for Houston Matters. He has a degree in journalism from Abilene Christian University and has served as news director for NPR and PBS stations around Texas and The West, including: KUNR-FM in Reno, Nev.; KNPB-TV in Reno, Nev.; and KWBU-TV/FM in Waco, Texas. He...

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