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Commentary by Vera Hall on her mother's songs and her siblings

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Vera Hall started remembering the words to songs when she was around ten or twelve. Alan Lomax asks what she was like as a baby. Vera Hall's mother told her that she could be left alone and would entertain herself for hours. She was the youngest. Her brother, Neamias, died in childhood. Her sister Estelle was five years older; and Bessie, the oldest, was seven years older than Vera. Their father rented land and raised hogs, corn, potatoes, peanuts, peas. They had plenty to eat but not a lot of clothes. Her father would share food with many people and they would repay him by working for him during harvest times. Vera Hall feels that the Lord has blessed her and the people around her. Her oldest sister Bessie died when she was 27 or 31. Women, who work at chores all day and prepare all the meals, have more to do than men do. 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 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...
27:20 Minutes
Created Date:
May 1948
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