Lost Delta Found
Rediscovering the Fisk University-Library of Congress Coahoma County Study, 1941-1942
This remarkable book recovers three invaluable perspectives, long thought to have been lost, on the culture and music of the Mississippi Delta.
In 1941 and ’42 African American schol-ars from Fisk University—among them the noted composer and musicologist John W. Work III, sociologist Lewis Wade Jones, and graduate student Samuel C. Adams Jr.—joined folklorist Alan Lomax of the Library of Congress on research trips to Coahoma County, Mississippi. Their mission was “to document adequately the cultural and social backgrounds for music in the community.” Among the fruits of the project were the earliest recordings by the legendary blues singer and guitarist Muddy Waters.
The hallmark of the study was to have been a joint publication of its findings by Fisk and the Library of Congress. While this publication was never completed, Lost Delta Found is composed of the writings, interviews, notes, and musical transcriptions produced by Work, Jones, and Adams in the Coahoma County study. Their work captures, with compelling immediacy, a place, a people, a way of life, and a set of rich musical traditions as they existed in the 1940s.
Illustrated with photos and more than 160 musical transcriptions.