We were saddened to hear of the recent passing of singer, songwriter, and folklorist Bess Lomax Hawes. The former member of the Almanac Singers and director of the Folk Arts Program at the National Endowment for the Arts was 88 years old. During her tenure at the NEA (1976-1992), Hawes developed the very successful National Heritage Fellowship program, among other major accomplishments.
You can watch the full version of Beth Lomax Hawes’ 1968 film on African-American girl’s singing games, Pizza Pizza Daddy-O, at the always recommended Folkstreams.net.
Any fan of American folk music and culture should be sure to spend plenty of time at Folkstreams.net, a wonderful online collection of over 100 hard-to-find documentary films. The site is currently spotlighting the collaborative work of filmmaker Tom Davenport and UNC folklorist Dan Patterson, including a particular favorite of ours, 1976′s Born For Hard Luck, a portrait of the late great medicine show performer “Peg Leg Sam” Jackson. Including interviews and a live performance, it’s a fine tribute to both a great entertainer and the lost art of the medicine show. If you haven’t yet seen it, it’s well worth your time, as are any of the films you may find on Folkstreams.
Original tapes and films associated with the Folkstreams project are preserved in the SFC’s Folkstreams.net Collection.