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Lee Hays papers

Creator:
Hays, Lee, 1914-1981  Search this
Names:
Almanac Singers  Search this
Baby Sitters (Musical group)  Search this
United States. Congress  Search this
Weavers (Musical group)  Search this
Gilbert, Ronnie  Search this
Guthrie, Woody, 1912-1967  Search this
Hays, Lee, 1914-1981  Search this
Houston, Cisco  Search this
Lampell, Millard, 1919-1997  Search this
Leventhal, Harold  Search this
Seeger, Pete, 1919-2014  Search this
Extent:
6.95 Cubic feet (Papers)
0.9 Cubic feet (Audiorecordings)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Interviews
Sheet music
Notes
Photographic prints
Business records
Audiotapes
Correspondence
Scripts (documents)
Date:
1923-1981
Summary:
The Lee Hays papers measures 7.85 cubic feet and dates from 1923 to 1981. The collection includes original writings, correspondence, and miscellaneous projects by Lee Hays; business records, interviews and features related to Lee Hays, including photographs; clippings saved by Lee Hays; and audiorecordings made by Lee Hays.
Scope and Contents:
The Lee Hays papers, which date from 1923-1981, contain personal and business correspondence; typescripts of Lee Hays' fiction, non-fiction, scripts and poetry; miscellaneous project and idea materials; business documents; and audiorecordings made by Lee Hays. The collection measures 7.85 cubic feet.
Arrangement:
The Lee Hays papers, are divided into seven series: 1) Correspondence, 2) Business, 3) Projects and Writings, 4) Collected Texts, 5) Interviews, 6) Features on Lee Hays and 7) Audio Recordings.

The Correspondence Series is divided into two subseries: 1) Personal, and 2) Business. The Projects and Writings series is divided into six subseries: 1) Songs, 2) Non-Fiction, 3) Fiction, 4) Musical Productions, 5) Radio Scripts, and 6) Cisco Houston Project.

When possible, folders are arranged within series and subseries in alphabetical order by file title, and within folders in chronological order with undated items at the top.
Biographical / Historical:
Lee Hays (1914-1981) was an influential American singer, songwriter, author, and activist. His legacy, both literary and musical, emphasizes the dynamic relationship between traditional culture and contemporary events and issues. As is clear from his essay "The Folk Song Bridge", Hays conceived of "folk music" as a living, breathing "process". Born in Arkansas in 1914 to a Methodist preacher, Hays' first experiences with music revolved around the church. His political awakening came later, when he returned to Arkansas from Ohio in 1934. Under the wing of mentors such as Claude Williams and Zilphia Horton (maiden name: Zilphia Johnson), Hays began to fight for the cause of sharecroppers and union workers. His musical ability and passion for social justice came together as he used music to represent the voice of labor, replacing the religious motifs of traditional and gospel songs with pro-union themes.

Upon moving to the North in 1940, Hays met Pete Seeger, another musician of the Folk Revival. Hays and Seeger shared the common goal of spreading political topical songs, and their collaborations with Woody Guthrie and Millard Lampell led to the creation of the Almanac Singers the same year. Later, the four band members, along with other musicians such as Burl Ives and Sis Cunningham, established the People's Songs organization and publication to create and distribute labor songs. However, interpersonal conflicts with members, including Pete Seeger, led to Hays' pressured resignation from both of these endeavors. He moved in with his mentor, Walter Lowenfels, and began to focus more on his writing. Though Hays was a prolific writer whose work spanned articles, essays, short stories, poetry, and songs, he is rarely recognized for his literary achievement. His writing often centered on the social and political themes for which he is best known—labor rights, racism, poverty and inequality—and used vernacular culture and narrative to address those problems.

Seeger and Hays eventually made amends, and in 1948 they formed The Weavers with Fred Hellerman and Ronnie Gilbert, bringing music of the Folk Revival to a national audience. However, as the Red Scare impacted the American political climate into the 1950s, the Weavers were blacklisted and ultimately had to disband. Though he was under investigation by the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) and had no steady income, Hays continued to write both fiction and non-fiction during the three year blacklisting. In 1955, the Weavers finally reunited for a highly successful revival under manager Harold C. Leventhal, but as years passed, the group split up again, and Hays began to focus on other projects. It was at this time that he produced the bulk of his memoirs, began a project on Cisco Houston, and recorded folk music for children with his group The Baby Sitters. In 1980, the Weavers reunited for a concert in Carnegie Hall and Hays' last performance with them was in 1981. Hays died in 1981 as a result of diabetic cardiovascular disease.
Provenance:
The Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections at the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage acquired the "Lee Hays Archives" in 1992 as a donation from Harold C. Leventhal and Doris Kaplan, who acquired the collection upon Lee Hays' death in 1981. The donation included materials produced by Lee Hays, as well as materials of interest to him that were found in his possession.
Restrictions:
Access by appointment only. Contact the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections at (202) 633-7322 or rinzlerarchives@si.edu for additional information.

This collection has been digitized and a majority of its content has been made available online for research and educational purposes. Online access to select materials is not available due to privacy or rights concerns.
Rights:
Copyright restrictions apply. Contact archives staff for additional information.

Restrictions may apply concerning the use, duplication, or publication of items in these collections. Consult the archivists for additional information.
Topic:
Political ballads and songs -- United States  Search this
Folk music -- United States  Search this
Topical songs -- United States  Search this
Popular music -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sheet music
Notes
Photographic prints
Business records
Audiotapes
Correspondence
Scripts (documents)
Citation:
Lee Hays papers, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
CFCH.HAYS
See more items in:
Lee Hays papers
Archival Repository:
Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-cfch-hays
Additional Online Media:

The Inheritance [sound recording]

Author:
Lampell, Millard 1919-1997  Search this
Physical description:
1 phonograph record : analog, 33 1/3 rpm ; 12 in
Type:
Musical sound recordings
Place:
United States
Topic:
Labor unions  Search this
Spoken word  Search this
Labor  Search this
Restrictions & Rights:
Restrictions on access. Listening only. No Duplication Allowed
Data Source:
Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_arc_357956

O, Appalachia : artists of the southern mountains / by Ramona Lampell & Millard Lampell with David Larkin ; photographed by Michael Freeman and Paul Rocheleau

Author:
Lampell, Ramona  Search this
Lampell, Millard 1919-1997  Search this
Larkin, David  Search this
Freeman, Michael 1945-  Search this
Rocheleau, Paul  Search this
Physical description:
256 p. : col. ill. ; 32 cm
Type:
Biography
Place:
Appalachian Region, Southern
Date:
1989
20th century
Topic:
Folk art--History  Search this
Folk artists  Search this
Call number:
NK811 .L36 1989X
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_387161

The long way home, by Sgt. Millard Lampell; preface by William Rose Benét, forewords by Col. Howard A. Rusk and Lt. Col. Merle Armitage

Author:
Lampell, Millard 1919-1997  Search this
Physical description:
xviii, 174 pages 22 cm
Type:
Drama
Date:
1946
Topic:
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Call number:
PN6120.R2 L28X
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_59298

A walk in the sun and other songs and ballads [sound recording] / music by Earl Robinson ; words by Millard Lampell

Performer:
Robinson, Earl 1910-1991  Search this
Commentator:
Lampell, Millard 1919-1997  Search this
Album cover design:
Rosenhouse, Irwin  Search this
Physical description:
1 phonograph record : analog, 33 1/3 rpm ; 12 in
Type:
Phonograph records
Place:
United States
Date:
1957
Topic:
Folk music  Search this
Folk songs, English  Search this
Patriotic music  Search this
Work songs  Search this
Children's songs  Search this
Local number:
FW02324
Folkways 2324
Restrictions & Rights:
Restrictions on access
See more items in:
Folkways Records Collection 1948-1986
Data Source:
Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_arc_231548

Bound for glory [sound recording] : the songs and stories by Woody Guthrie / sung by Woody Guthrie ; told by Will Geer

Performer:
Guthrie, Woody 1912-1967  Search this
Narrator:
Geer, Will  Search this
Commentator:
Lampell, Millard 1919-1997  Search this
Recorder:
Asch, Moses  Search this
Physical description:
1 phonograph record : analog, 33 1/3 rpm ; 12 in
Culture:
Anglo-American  Search this
Americans  Search this
Type:
Phonograph records
Place:
United States
New York
Date:
1956
1940-1950
Topic:
Folk music  Search this
Folk songs, English  Search this
Popular music  Search this
Folksong revival  Search this
Local number:
RA-RAMS-LP-0526
Folkways 2481
Restrictions & Rights:
Restrictions on access
See more items in:
Folkways Records Collection 1948-1986
Data Source:
Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_arc_231727

Songs from The Wall [sound recording] : ghetto, partisan, folk and love songs / sung by Norbert Horowitz, Rita Karin, Rochelle Horowitz

Performer:
Horowitz, Norbert  Search this
Karin, Rita  Search this
Horowitz, Rochelle  Search this
Playwright:
Lampell, Millard 1919-1997  Search this
Album cover design:
Clyne, Ronald 1925-2006  Search this
Physical description:
1 phonograph record : analog, 33 1/3 rpm ; 12 in
Culture:
Jews  Search this
Russians  Search this
Americans  Search this
Type:
Phonograph records
Place:
Poland
Germany
Warsaw (Poland)
Date:
1961
20th century
Topic:
Folk songs, Yiddish  Search this
Jews--Songs and music  Search this
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Holocaust  Search this
Concentration camps  Search this
Local number:
FW03558
Folkways 3558
Restrictions & Rights:
Restrictions on access
See more items in:
Folkways Records Collection 1948-1986
Data Source:
Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_arc_231788
Additional Online Media:

Bound for Glory: Master Copy [sound recording]

Performer:
Guthrie, Woody 1912-1967  Search this
Recorder:
Asch, Moses  Search this
Producer:
Lampell, Millard 1919-1997  Search this
Physical description:
1 sound-tape reel : analog ; 10 in
Culture:
Americans  Search this
Anglo-American  Search this
Type:
Musical sound recordings
Place:
United States
New York
Oklahoma
Topic:
Folk songs  Search this
Folksong revival  Search this
Music  Search this
Guitar  Search this
Local number:
FW-ASCH-10RR-3262
Restrictions & Rights:
Restrictions on access. No duplication allowed listening and viewing for research purposes only
See more items in:
Moses and Frances Asch Collection, 1939-1986 228428
Data Source:
Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_arc_335752

Bound for Glory: Copy of Master [sound recording]

Performer:
Guthrie, Woody 1912-1967  Search this
Geer, Will  Search this
Recorder:
Asch, Moses  Search this
Producer:
Lampell, Millard 1919-1997  Search this
Physical description:
1 sound-tape reel : analog ; 10 in
Culture:
Americans  Search this
Anglo-American  Search this
Type:
Musical sound recordings
Place:
United States
New York
Oklahoma
Topic:
Folksong revival  Search this
Folk songs  Search this
Guitar  Search this
Local number:
FW-ASCH-10RR-3276
Restrictions & Rights:
Restrictions on access. No duplication allowed listening and viewing for research purposes only
See more items in:
Moses and Frances Asch Collection, 1939-1986 228428
Data Source:
Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_arc_335764

Tribute to Woody Guthrie, A, Part One [sound recording]

Performer:
Paxton, Tom 1937-  Search this
Guthrie, Arlo  Search this
Geer, Will  Search this
Ryan, Robert 1913-1973  Search this
Odetta 1930-2008  Search this
Dylan, Bob 1941-  Search this
Collins, Judy 1939-  Search this
Seeger, Pete 1919-2014  Search this
Havens, Richie  Search this
Liner notes:
Lampell, Millard 1919-1997  Search this
Subject:
Guthrie, Woody 1912-1967  Search this
Physical description:
1 phonograph record : analog, 33 1/3 rpm ; 12 in
Culture:
Americans  Search this
Type:
Musical sound recordings
Place:
United States
California
Date:
1972
Topic:
Folk songs  Search this
Folksong revival  Search this
Guitar  Search this
Local number:
Columbia 31171
Restrictions & Rights:
Restrictions on access. No duplication allowed listening and viewing for research purposes only
Data Source:
Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_arc_346760

A Walk in the Sun [sound recording]

Composer:
Robinson, Earl 1910-1991  Search this
Lampell, Millard 1919-1997  Search this
Physical description:
3 phonograph records : analog, 78 rpm ; 10 in
Type:
Musical sound recordings
Date:
1946
Local number:
Disc 623
Restrictions & Rights:
Restrictions on access. Listening only. No Duplication Allowed
Data Source:
Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_arc_359961

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