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MP3 John L. Handcox: Songs, Poems, and Stories of the Southern Tenant Farmers Union - FOLK: Traditional Folk

Original recordings of John L. Handcox''s union songs and poems that were sung at union meetings to raise spirits.

17 MP3 Songs
FOLK: Traditional Folk, FOLK: Political

In Depression-era Arkansas, tenant farmers came together to fight for better pay, favorable legislation, and better working conditions. They formed a multi-racial, desegregated union called the Southern Tenant Farmer Union. A tenant farmer himself, John Handcox recognized the injustices of the life of the sharecroppers and embraced the union. Becoming involved in union activities, Handcox composed songs and poems that were sung at union meetings used to raise spirits. In 1937, Handcox made a recording at the Library of Congress. The songs were so popular that some have become folksongs themselves, recorded by musicians such as Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie.

The CD represents the work of John Handcox from the 1937 material as well as more recent material that was recorded by the Smithsonian''s Center for Folk Life and Cultural Heritage in the 1980s. The CD not only spans Handcox''s entire career, but also includes an interview with Joe Glazer recorded at the Library of Congress in 1985.

Selections for this CD include ten songs, two poems, and an interview of Handcox by folksinger Joe Glazer and labor historian Michael Honey.

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