Library of Congress Recordings, March 25, 1947

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Leggett
On March 25, 1947, East Texas folksinger Sam Hinton recorded 54 American folk songs (many of them learned from Carl Sandburg's American Songbag), all in one take, onto four 16" aluminum transcription discs for the Library of Congress. This marathon session was then filed away for some 50 years until this release of 46 of the songs on a single CD (most of the songs come in at well under two minutes in length) by Germany's Bear Family Records in 1999. What's astounding about these tracks, aside from the sheer number of them, is the complete consistency in Hinton's unassuming but exactly right singing and guitar playing throughout the whole session. He isn't flashy on any of...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Leggett
On March 25, 1947, East Texas folksinger Sam Hinton recorded 54 American folk songs (many of them learned from Carl Sandburg's American Songbag), all in one take, onto four 16" aluminum transcription discs for the Library of Congress. This marathon session was then filed away for some 50 years until this release of 46 of the songs on a single CD (most of the songs come in at well under two minutes in length) by Germany's Bear Family Records in 1999. What's astounding about these tracks, aside from the sheer number of them, is the complete consistency in Hinton's unassuming but exactly right singing and guitar playing throughout the whole session. He isn't flashy on any of these and he doesn't force a particular philosophy or personality into the songs; he simply performs them with deceptive ease, one after another. The result is an unhurried, sometimes playful, and often elegant survey of American folk music channeled through a singer who really had no axe to grind, making this set all the more startlingly refreshing because of that stance. With his easy, flexible baritone, Hinton sounded a bit like Burl Ives, but the relaxed demeanor of his delivery belied the careful research he put into the songs he sang, and he sang a lot of songs (he was rumored to have known well over 5,000 of them), so these 46 are just the tip of the iceberg. Hinton was a respected marine biologist and a director of the Scripps Oceanographic Institution, and his folksinging was always a bit of a joyful sideline for him, which might explain why there is little commercial affectation to his recordings. He recorded similar material for Folkways Records between 1961 and 1967, all of which is still in print, and also tracked sides for the Decca, ABC, and Bowmar imprints, none of which are currently available, before his death in 2009 at the age of 92.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/14/1999
  • Label: Bear Family
  • UPC: 790051638320
  • Catalog Number: 16383

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Sam Hinton Primary Artist
Technical Credits
W.C. Handy Composer
Sam Hinton Liner Notes
Marty Bloom Composer
Martha E. Koenig Composer
Adam Miller Liner Notes
Spencer Williams Composer
Richard Weize Reissue Producer
Walter Melrose Composer
Grant Rymal Composer
Achim Elsner Mastering
Asja Esha Artwork
Traditional Composer
Joe Primrose Composer
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