Re: The Man Who Went To War

K & J Hammel

If memory serves, the LOC will only release recordings if one has written permission from the last copyright holder (even if the copyright has expired). So, in this case, you'd may have to get the BBC to give you a letter with their permission for you to have (or listen to) a copy of the recording.

I'm not an attorney - or any sort of legal mind - but once was on a team of researchers that did get written permission for something from the LOC. 

However, that did not give us permission to share or distribute what we obtained outside of our research team.

This was some years back, so not sure if their rules have changed.


On Sunday, May 10, 2020, 08:37:57 AM PDT, Chris J Brady via <chrisjbrady@...> wrote:

Folks here might or might not know of the thousands of recordings available from John and Alan Lomas archives at the website

In particular there is a group in the UK trying to research one particular Ballad Opera written by one Langston Hughes and Alan Lomax - "The Man Who Went To War" - starring Paul Robeson and Josh White.

A link is here:

Unfortunately the LOC has deemed the recording too 'precious' to upload and make available - despite what remains of the reel-reel tape media being digitised. Actually it is more likely the content and the fact that the Ballad Opera was written by a black, and the production had an all black cast (apart from Lomax himself). There are tones of racism here.

Failing all attempts to obtain this recording we are planning to reconstruct the Ballad Opera - a 5 year project to be partly financed privately and partly through crowd-funding.

This email is informational. But is also an appeal that if anyone can obtain this recording from the LOC we'd be eternally grateful.


P.S. Despite owning copyright the BBC does not have this recording in its archives, and is not even interested in acquiring a copy.

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