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Warren Truitt

Classic Kids' Music: Lead Belly Sings for Children

By February 16, 2013

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Lead Belly, aka Huddie Ledbetter, recorded many sing-alongs, play party songs, and folk tunes for children over his storied career, and Lead Belly Sings for Children collects them all in one neat package.

The album was compiled from several different sources and recording dates, containing selections from the 1960 Folkways album Negro Folk Songs for Young People, five of the six tracks from the 1941 Folkways album Play Parties in Song and Dance as Sung by Lead Belly, various tunes recorded by Moses Asch between 1941 and 1948, and an unreleased radio broadcast of "Take This Hammer."

What's remarkable about this collection is that Lead Belly sang to children as he would any other audience. Lead Belly Sings for Children is a great way to introduce kids to a one-of-a-kind musician and singer, because children will never hear anyone perform songs live in Lead Belly's unique style ever again.

Image Courtesy Smithsonian Folkways

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