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Film, Video "Out on the Western Plains"

Transcript: TEXT

About this Item


  • "Out on the Western Plains"


  • The American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress challenged musical artists to interpret material from its unparalleled archive of ethnographic recordings of traditional folk music. Artists were asked to put their own spin on these archival treasures, and to perform them at a special showcase during the Folk Alliance International conference in Kansas City, Missouri in 2023. The showcase was recorded for this webcast. This video features Rachel Sumner and her band Traveling Light performing the song "Out on the Western Plains:from a field recording of Huddie Ledbetter (Lead Belly) on voice and guitar, recorded by John Lomax at Angola State Prison Farm in Angola, Louisiana, in July, 1934. From the John Lomax Southern States Collection, AFC 1935/002: AFS 122 B. Released commercially as "When I Was A Cowboy" on Lead Belly: Let It Shine On Me: The Library Of Congress Recordings, Volume Three, Track 10 (Rounder CD 1046). There are three different recordings of Lead Belly performing this song in the AFC archive: the first was in July, 1933 in Angola, Louisiana; the second was in July, 1934 in Angola, Louisiana; and the third was in February, 1935, in Wilton, Connecticut.

Event Date

  • May 01, 2023

Running Time

  • 3 minutes 53 seconds

Online Format

  • video
  • image
  • online text

Rights & Access

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Credit Line: Library of Congress

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

"Out on the Western Plains". 2023. Video.

APA citation style:

(2023) "Out on the Western Plains". [Video] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

"Out on the Western Plains". 2023. Video. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.