"Lead Belly wasn’t a native New Yorker but he sure became one in the late 1930s, 1940s."

-Stephen Petrus
Co-author of Folk City

Lead Belly settled down at The East Village apartment with his wife, Martha. While in New York, He quickly developed an intimate connection with the budding folk scene in the city. He hung out with the likes of Pete Seeger, Sonny Terry, and Brownie McGhee. Lead Belly became something of a local celebrity after scoring two radio shows, one at WNYC and another at CBS.
Sonny Terry &Brownie McGhee
He played at the Apollo Theater
Pete Seeger

He helped introduce New York audiences to the music of the Deep South, to cowboy ballads, labor songs, songs about race and politics.

Lead Belly with his wife Martha Promise

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Early Recording

The American Folklore

These eight songs are the fruit of Lead Belly’s first visit to New York in 1935, but the record company’s financial downfall prevented all but two— Pigmeat and Black Snake Moan from reaching the market. This album reverses that misfortune of unavailability, and the notes provide vignettes of the bluesman’s experiences.

01. Fort Worth And Dallas Blues
02. Black Snake
03. Roberta, Part 1
04. Roberta, Part 2
05. Driving Song
06. Daddy I’m Coming Back To You
07. See See Rider
08. Pigmeat