Cosmopolitanism and the Anglo-American Folk Revival, 1945-1965
This article offers an interpretive reading of the Anglo-American folk music revival, from its post-war roots to the early 1960s. The nature and development of the revival, it argues, can be illuminated by the multi-faceted concept of cosmopolitanism, a property rarely associated with such expressive forms. Through a study of the relationship between two folk music promoters, American Alan Lomax and Anglo-Scot Ewan MacColl, the article shows how folk, a genre associated with local or national identities, lent itself to trans-national elaboration after World War Two, and why that process in turn fostered tensions within the revival. These tensions, it concludes, transformed folk's cosmopolitanism and marginalized Lomax and MacColl; an appreciation of them throws new light on folk music and on the meaning of Bob Dylan's emergence from the revival in the early 1960s.
European Journal of American Culture, 2010, Vol 29, Issue 1, p. 35-52
folk music revival; cosmopolitanism; Anglo-American; Alan Lomax; Ewan MacColl; Bob Dylan