Alan Lomax Collection


Ain't gonna rain no more (fragment)

Other Form of Name

Lomax, Alan, 1915-2002; Hall, Vera, 1902-1964


T805R07; FRID (Lomax Number) 13013

Creation Date



New York (N.Y.)


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These recordings of oral history, play songs, blues, spirituals, and stories were made in 1948 when Alan Lomax invited Vera Hall to come from her home in Livingston, Alabama, to New York City for a concert. Vera Hall's mother had been a slave, and Vera's date of birth was not recorded. Her artistry and repertoire were brought to John A. Lomax's attention by Ruby Pickens Tartt, a painter and folklorist from Livingston who introduced Vera and her cousin, Dock Reed, to him in 1937. The elder Lomax recorded her again in 1940, describing her as having 'the loveliest voice I had ever recorded.' Alan Lomax used the oral histories of Vera Hall and Dock Reed as the basis of The Rainbow Sign (New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1959), a study of African-American spirituality. After her death in 1964, Alan Lomax said: 'It is from singers like Vera Hall that all of us who love folk music in America have everything to learn. Her performances were all graced with dignity and with love. Her sense of timing and beat were perfection itself. But all this is analysis. The mystery of Vera Hall and her art, while hinted at in the recordings we will always treasure, lies buried in the state where once the stars fell.' For a summary of Vera Hall's life see Gabriel Greenberg's article, reproduced at In 2005 Vera Hall was inducted into the Alabama Women's Hall of Fame.

Subject Headings (Library of Congress)

Blues (Music); Blues musicians

Relational Format

audio recording



Original Collection

Alan Lomax Recordings


Vera Hall I 1948. Lomax Classification: ring play; children's song; game song; spiritual. Lomax Collection Title: Vera Hall 1948. Recording Note: A game played between two boys. Which ever one sings the best, he gets the most partners [fragment]. Session Note: In these interviews and songs, recorded by Alan Lomax at his home in New York City, Vera Hall talks about her life and sings samples of songs. Lomax is joined by his wife Elizabeth, their daughter, and an unidentified couple, who can be heard throughout the session (editor's note). Location: Greenwich Village, Alan Lomax's Apartment (3rd. Street, New York, N.Y.)


Media files in this collection are owned by the Association for Cultural Equity and made available solely for personal use. Copy or capture of media files is prohibited. Due to copyright concerns, the recordings in this collection can only be accessed by arrangement with the Department of Archives and Special Collections.

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