Almost every revived American folk-music form was once recorded for the Library of Congress by musicologist Alan Lomax. He taped Sacred Harp in 1942 and ’59. Unlike other finds such as Leadbelly, it failed to spark during the 1960s folk revival, but musicologists were infected. Now the form had imitable LPs and an academic beachhead.
Glad as I am to see this latest indication of Lomax’s ongoing relevance, I can’t help but point out a factual error. He didn’t tape Sacred Harp or anything else in 1942. But when he did tape it in 1959, he did so in stereo, and it’s well worth a listen.