Captain Pearl R. Nye: Life on the Ohio and Erie Canal


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Two Sailors: Sea Shanties and Canal Boat Ballads

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This excerpt from "Two Sailors: Sea Shanties and Canal Boat Ballads" contains commentary by John A. Lomax as well as portions of a 1937 field interview between Lomax and Pearl R. Nye that took place in Akron, Ohio. "Two Sailors: Sea Shanties and Canal Boat Ballads" is one of 10 radio programs making up "The Ballad Hunter" radio series.

In 1941, the Rockefeller Foundation provided a grant to establish the Radio Research Project in the Library of the Congress. Archibald MacLeish, then Librarian of Congress, defined the Radio Research Project as a means "to find through experiments and research radio forms by which pertinent parts of the American culture maintained in the Library of Congress may be made available to the American people." Among the special radio programs prepared under the supervision of Philip H. Cohen, the Project's chief, in collaboration with Alan Lomax, was John Lomax's "The Ballad Hunter." The broadcasts were distributed on transcription discs to radio stations for several years.

All 10 of "The Ballad Hunter" programs are available in the American Folklife Center, Archive of Folk Culture. The "Related Resources" section of this Web site contains links to more detailed information about each program.