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Despite several degrees of separation, Oster, like Lomax, dove with abandon into the musical traditions of Louisiana.

As a LSU professor and founding member of the Louisiana Folklore Society, Oster recorded various performers, including Anglo string bands, French ballads, work songs, and prisoners at Angola State Penitentiary.16 Between 19, Arhoolie issued a now classic collection of Oster's field recordings: Leadbelly with African American prisoners, compound no. Courtesy of The Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Online Catalog, digital ID

Driven to find an alternative source of income, John secured the modest patronage of the Library of Congress in the early 1930s.

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Lomax's interpretations were often at odds with local Cajun perceptions about culture, music, and history. (2013), is the latest chapter in these Lomaxian annals.4 Caffery offers the first systematic exploration of the music that compelled Lomax eighty years ago.

He sometimes butted heads with folklorist Barry Jean Ancelet, who became the most visible auteur of the Cajun-generated narrative. Under the tutelage of Ancelet, he painstakingly combed the whole of Lomax's French Louisiana recordings at the Library of Congress.

1, Louisiana State Penitentiary, Angola, Louisiana, 1934. Rinzler, on the other hand, maintained close ties to Lomax, who, in anticipation of the 1964 Newport Folk Festival, convinced the festival board to hire Rinzler as a talent scout.17 Rinzler made plans to travel to Louisiana at Lomax's urging.

He contacted local culture brokers, including Oster, then assembled a Cajun band that included a musician named Dewey Balfa who sat in on guitar when the group performed at that year's festival.

Alan Lomax, Mountain Music Festival, Asheville, North Carolina, 1938.

Photograph from The Lomax Collection, Library of Congress.

Louisiana native and budding folklorist Irène Thérèse Whitfield met Lomax in 1934 while still in the throes of her master's thesis at Louisiana State University. Post assembled a thirty-six-person entourage including musicians, folk artists, and Whitfield, whom he acknowledged as "the best informed person on Acadian folk songs."12 The Cajun performances Post helped stage at the festival so impressed Alan Lomax that he proclaimed fiddler Ardus Broussard "the best example of folk talent in the whole festival."13 Irène Whitfield's influence extended beyond the festival.

She left her imprint on a budding song hunter named William Owens whom she met in Dallas.

When I found her she was tired and not particularly crazy about singing for me, but she did want a new party dress."8 The girl's name was Elita Hoffpauir, whose repertoire often expressed, as Caffery notes, "feminine teenage angst, woven together from various strands of tradition often grounded in such emotions."9 But the Hoffpauir family's extensive knowledge of European balladry was only one component of a broader mosaic.

The Lomaxes went on to record hundreds of hollers, hymns, spirituals, , laments, and other genres that effectively demonstrated Louisiana's variegated soundscape.

Moreover, he was at work on his autobiography, , even while exploring communities and collecting songs.

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