Folklorist Alan Lomax died Friday, July 19 at the age of 87. He spent more than a half century recording the folk music and customs of the world. His efforts spurred folk revivals in the United States and across Europe. In the United States, he was responsible for priceless recordings of Leadbelly (who Lomax first recorded in prison), Woody Guthrie, Jelly Roll Morton and many others. A 1959 recording he made of Mississippi prisoner James Carter singing the work song "Po'Lazarus" was the opening song for the soundtrack of the film O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Doc Watson, who was called "a living national treasure" for his virtuoso flat-picking and his repertoire of traditional folk and bluegrass tunes, has died. He was 89. Fresh Air remembers the blind guitar and banjo player with excerpts from a 1988 interview.