Wednesday 25 September 2013

Bess Lomax Hawes, 1921–2009 (American folk musician, folklorist, researcher)

* In the early 1940s she moved to New York City, where she was active on the folk scene. She was an on-and-off member of the Almanac Singers. The legendary Woody Guthrie taught her mandolin.
In the 1950s she moved to California, where she taught guitar, banjo, mandolin and folk singing. In 1968 she became Associate Professor of Anthropology at San Fernando Valley State College. At California State University Northridge Hawes compiled an extensive archive of folk songs.
In 1975, Hawes accepted a position in administration at the Smithsonian Institution, where she was instrumental in organizing the Smithsonian's 1976 Bicentennial Festival of Traditional Folk Arts on the National Mall. In 1977, she was named first director of the Folk and Traditional Arts Program at the National Endowment for the Arts, and created the National Heritage Fellowships, which recognize traditional artists and performers.
She retired in 1992. Her memoir, Sing It Pretty, was published by Illinois University Press in 2008. She died on November 27, 2009.

Read more from his Wikipedia biography.


BIRTH DATA: Bess Brown Lomax, 21 January 1921, 04:15 (4:15 AM) CST (+6), Austin, Texas, USA (30n16, 97w44). ASC: 13 Sagittarius. RR: AA (from birth record). SOURCE: Sy Scholfield (©) quotes birth certificate on file.

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