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Lead Belly: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection

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Lead Belly: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection, the first career-spanning box set dedicated to the American music icon, is a 5 CD, 140-page, large-format book featuring 5 hours of music with 16 unreleased tracks. The limited-edition poster and t-shirt package has sold out.

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Lead Belly is “the hard name of a harder man,” said Woody Guthrie of his friend and fellow American music icon who was born Huddie Ledbetter (c. 1888–1949). From the swamplands of Louisiana, the prisons of Texas, and the streets of New York City, Lead Belly and his music became cornerstones of American folk music and touchstones of African American cultural legacy.

With his 12-string Stella guitar, he sang out a cornucopia of songs that included his classics “The Midnight Special,” “Irene,” “The Bourgeois Blues,” and many more, which in turn have been covered by musical notables such as the Beach Boys, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Van Morrison, Nirvana, Odetta, Little Richard, Pete Seeger, Frank Sinatra and Tom Waits. Lead Belly: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection brings us the story of the man as well as the musician. 5 Discs, 108 tracks (16 unreleased), 5 hours of music, historic photos, extensive notes, and 140-page book.

Limited-Edition Poster and T-Shirt
Designed by Fritz Klaetke (Visual Dialogue), GRAMMY-winning art director for Lead Belly: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection, this unframed, 16” x 20” poster is individually numbered out of 300 and printed on high-quality paper with matte finish. The unisex t-shirt is printed on 100% cotton. Click here for a size chart.

This project was produced in coordination with the Lead Belly Estate, The John Reynolds Collection/Lead Belly Society, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Limited-Edition Poster and T-Shirt
Limited-Edition Poster and T-Shirt

Listen to a Sneak Preview Including the Previously Unreleased Song “Been So Long (Bellevue Hospital Blues)”

RELATED VIDEOS
Introduction to Lead Belly: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection
Archivist Jeff Place on Lead Belly’s Legacy
Unboxing Lead Belly: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection

Track Listing

101
Irene (Goodnight Irene) Lead Belly 1:53
102
The Bourgeois Blues Lead Belly 2:18
103
Fannin Street (Mister Tom Hughes Town) Lead Belly 3:30
104
The Midnight Special Lead Belly 2:03
105
John Henry Lead Belly with Sonny Terry 3:10
106
Black Girl (Where Did You Sleep Last Night) Lead Belly 2:07
107
Pick a Bale of Cotton Lead Belly and The Oleander Quartet 1:30
108
Take This Hammer Lead Belly 2:15
109
Cotton Fields Lead Belly 2:06
110
Old Riley / Here, Rattler, Here Lead Belly 1:58
111
Rock Island Line Lead Belly 2:02
112
The Gallis Pole (The Maid Freed from the Gallows) Lead Belly 2:45
113
Ha-Ha This a Way Lead Belly 1:34
114
Sukey Jump Lead Belly 1:04
115
Boll Weevil Lead Belly 3:07
116
Scottsboro Boys Lead Belly 4:32
117
Governor O.K. Allen Lead Belly 2:37
118
Governor Pat Neff Lead Belly 3:40
119
There's a Man Going Around Taking Names Lead Belly 1:24
120
On a Monday (Almost Done) Lead Belly with Sonny Terry 1:47
121
You Can't Lose Me, Cholly Lead Belly 2:37
122
Keep Your Hands Off Her Lead Belly 2:51
123
We Shall Be Free Lead Belly with Woody Guthrie and Cisco Houston 2:34
201
Alabama Bound Lead Belly with Woody Guthrie and Cisco Houston 2:17
202
Almost Day (Christmas Is a-Coming) Lead Belly 1:05
203
Fiddler's Dram Lead Belly with Woody Guthrie and Cisco Houston 2:28
204
Green Corn Lead Belly 1:15
205
Sally Walker Lead Belly 2:40
206
Bring Me a Little Water, Silvy Lead Belly 0:48
207
Julie Ann Johnson Lead Belly 0:41
208
Linin' Track Lead Belly 1:11
209
Whoa, Back, Buck Lead Belly 2:09
210
Shorty George Lead Belly 1:28
211
Ham and Eggs (Make It on the Side of the Road) Lead Belly 1:42
212
Moanin' Lead Belly 1:00
213
Out on the Western Plains Lead Belly 1:31
214
Noted Rider Lead Belly 2:50
215
Meeting at the Building (All Over this World) Lead Belly 0:59
216
Good, Good, Good (Talking, Preaching) / We Shall Walk Through the Valley Lead Belly 2:11
217
Ain't You Glad (The Blood Done Signed My Name) Lead Belly 2:19
218
I'm So Glad, I Done Got Over Lead Belly 1:21
219
The Hindenburg Disaster Lead Belly 3:22
220
Ella Speed Lead Belly 5:48
221
Haul Away Joe Lead Belly 2:48
222
Old Man Lead Belly 2:35
223
Sweet Jenny Lee Lead Belly 1:51
224
Jean Harlow Lead Belly 1:40
225
Laura Lead Belly 1:41
226
Queen Mary Lead Belly 4:46
301
Good Morning Blues Lead Belly with Sonny Terry 2:23
302
Sail On, Little Girl (You Can't Mistreat Me) Lead Belly 3:14
303
Easy Rider Lead Belly 2:51
304
Poor Howard Lead Belly 1:36
305
Duncan and Brady Lead Belly 4:06
306
How Long, How Long Lead Belly and Sonny Terry 2:13
307
T.B. Blues Lead Belly 3:43
308
Jim Crow Blues Lead Belly 3:30
309
Pigmeat Lead Belly 2:33
310
John Hardy Lead Belly 2:43
311
Outskirts of Town Lead Belly and Sonny Terry 2:40
312
4, 5, and 9 Lead Belly 2:20
313
In the Evening (When the Sun Goes Down) Lead Belly 3:29
314
Red Cross Store Blues Lead Belly 3:09
315
Diggin' My Potatoes Lead Belly and Brownie McGee 2:34
316
Blind Lemon Lead Belly 1:39
317
When a Man's a Long Way from Home Lead Belly 2:57
318
Alberta Lead Belly 3:11
319
Excerpt from "The Lonesome Train" Lead Belly 3:11
320
National Defense Blues Lead Belly 3:13
321
Hitler Song (Mr. Hitler) Lead Belly 4:31
322
Big Fat Woman Lead Belly 1:10
323
Been So Long (Bellevue Hospital Blues) Lead Belly 2:44
401
WNYC- Folk Songs of America [Grey Goose; Boll Weevil; Yellow Gal; Ha-Ha This a Way; Leaving Blues; Irene (outro)] Lead Belly 14:42
402
WNYC- Folk Songs of America [Almost Day; Blues in My Kitchen, Blues in My Dining Room; I Went Up on the Mountain; Good Morning Blues; Baby, Don't You Love Me No More; T.B. Blues; Irene (outro)] Lead Belly and the Oleander Quartet 14:45
403
If It Wasn't for Dicky Lead Belly 2:15
404
What's You Gonna Do When the World's on Fire Lead Belly with Anne Graham 2:12
405
Rock Me (Hide Me in Thy Bosom) Lead Belly with Anne Graham 2:19
406
Packin' Trunk Blues Lead Belly 2:35
407
Leaving Blues Lead Belly 2:58
408
How Come You Do Me Like You Do? Lead Belly 3:26
409
One Dime Blues Lead Belly 2:25
410
I'm Going to Buy You a Brand New Ford Lead Belly 1:40
411
Jail-house Blues (It Was Early One Morning) Lead Belly 1:13
412
Shout On (Honey, I'm All Out and Down) Lead Belly 2:09
413
Come and Sit Down Beside Me Lead Belly 1:02
414
Red River Lead Belly 2:14
501
Yes, I Was Standing in the Bottom / When It's Springtime in the Rockies Lead Belly 1:41
502
Ain't Going Down to the Well No More (version 2) Lead Belly 1:23
503
Everytime I Go Out Lead Belly 1:25
504
Go Down, Old Hannah Lead Belly 4:58
505
Black Betty Lead Belly 1:53
506
Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out Lead Belly with Bessie Smith 3:42
507
Stewball Lead Belly with Martha Ledbetter 2:34
508
Ain't It a Shame to Go Fishin' on a Sunday Lead Belly 1:22
509
Relax Your Mind Lead Belly 4:05
510
Princess Elizabeth Lead Belly 3:33
511
Silver City Bound Lead Belly 6:01
512
The Titanic Lead Belly 5:11
513
House of the Rising Sun Lead Belly and Martha Ledbetter 2:24
514
It's Tight Like That Lead Belly 3:09
515
Diggin' My Potatoes Lead Belly 3:57
516
Springtime in the Rockies Lead Belly 3:02
517
Backwater Blues Lead Belly 3:23
518
Didn't Old John Cross the Water Lead Belly 1:56
519
De Kalb Blues (Ain't Gonna Drink No More) Lead Belly 3:51
520
They Hung Him on the Cross (version 1) Lead Belly 2:26
521
They Hung Him on the Cross (version 2) Lead Belly 2:49
522
In the World Lead Belly 2:02

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