Mudcat Café message #2775560 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #125356   Message #2775560
Posted By: Desert Dancer
28-Nov-09 - 11:34 AM
Thread Name: Obit: Bess Lomax Hawes 1921-2009)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bess Lomax Hawes (Nov. 28, 2009)
Sorry, didn't get the whole post there:

"We're so sad to hear that Bess Lomax Hawes passed away this morning. One of the pioneers of folklore, she was the daughter of John Lomax, sister of Alan. She created the NEA's folk arts program. She taught at CSUN starting back when it was San Fernando Valley State College and also lived here in SoCal after her time at the NEA. Always generous with her time, creative to the end, she will be missed by so many."

From Wikipedia:

Bess Lomax Hawes (born January 21, 1921) is an American folk musician and researcher. She is the daughter of John Lomax and the sister of Alan Lomax.

Born in Austin, Texas, Bess grew up learning folk music from a very early age due to her father, a noted scholar of American folk music. She entered the University of Texas at fifteen, and the following year assisted her family and Ruth Crawford Seeger with the Our Singing Country project. She learned to play guitar and then attended Bryn Mawr College; in the early 1940s she moved to New York City and became active on the folk scene there. She was an on-and-off member of the Almanac Singers; another member, Butch Hawes, married her in 1942. While she was a member of the Almanac Singers, Woody Guthrie taught her mandolin.

During World War II Hawes worked for the Office of War Information preparing radio broadcasts for troops overseas. After the end of the war, Hawes and family moved to Boston; while there she wrote campaign songs for Walter A. O'Brien and co-wrote (with Jacqueline Steiner) "M.T.A.," a hit for the Kingston Trio. In the 1950s she moved to California and taught, also performing in local clubs; she also began playing at some of the larger folk festivals such as the Newport Folk Festival and the Berkeley Folk Festival. In 1968 she became associate professor of anthropology at San Fernando Valley State College. In the 1970s she accepted a position at the Smithsonian Institution. In 1977, she became the first director of the Folk & Traditional Arts Program at the National Endowment for the Arts from which she retired in 1996. Her memoir, Sing It Pretty, was published by Illinois University Press.