Lead Belly: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection
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Smithsonian Folkways Recordings is proud to present Lead Belly: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection the first in-depth, career-spanning box set of songs, photos, and essays dedicated to one of America s most treasured 20th-century icons.

A companion to 2012 s GRAMMY-winning Woody at 100: The Woody Guthrie Centennial Collection, Lead Belly: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection chronicles the recordings of Huddie "Lead Belly" Ledbetter (c. 1888¬ 1949) in 108 tracks over five discs, including Lead Belly s beloved classics "The Midnight Special, " "Goodnight Irene, " and "Black Girl (Where Did You Sleep Last Night) " among many others. The collection also boasts 16 previously unreleased recordings, including four never-before-available original songs, and radio programs Lead Belly made for WNYC which can be heard for the first time since airing in 1941.

The set also features many rare photos, among them an intimate portrait taken shortly before his untimely death from ALS (Lou Gehrig s Disease) in 1949. It is one of the few known color photographs of the legend.

Lead Belly: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection was compiled and produced by GRAMMY-winning Smithsonian Folkways archivist Jeff Place and Executive Director of the GRAMMY Museum Robert Santelli. The collection is housed in a 140-page, large format (12x12) book, with an introduction entitled A Man of Contradiction and Complexity from Santelli and an illuminating essay The Life and Legacy of Lead Belly by Place.
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