discography of
Lawrence Gellert
Lawrence 'Lou' Gellert
b. September 14, 1898 in Budapest, Hungaria
d. 1979, exact date and location unknown


source: Front cover of Rounder 4004
(illustration of chained slave by Lawrence's brother Hugo Gellert)
This discography is a non-commercial labor-of-love and is in no way associated with any business firm.
All I know about the resp. artist's / label's musical output is shown on this page. To purchase out-of-print records I recommend an ebay, gemm or google search. And - sorry for that - I have not the time to answer any e-mails asking me about further information, let alone duplicating out-of-print recordings I happen to own.

Stefan Wirz   www.wirz.de

From 1933 to 1937, Lawrence Gellert traveled through North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, collecting folksongs of black Americans. Gellert, along with his brother Hugo, was a frequent contributor to the magazine Masses (later New Masses) from 1930 to 1947, writing mainly about traditional black American music.

short Lawrence Gellert

Lawrence Gellert recordings: LPs / CDs
of release
titlelabel # / notes

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Various unknown Artists: Negro Songs Of Protest
Collected by Lawrence Gellert

- Cold Iron Shackles
- Two Hoboes
- Negro Got No Justice
- Mail Day I Gets A Letter
- Rocky Bottom
- Come Get Your Money
- Joe Brown's Coal Mine
- You Ask For Breakfast
- On A Monday

- There Ain't No Heaven
- In Atlanta, Georgia
- Cap'n Got A Lueger
- When Sun Go Down
- Give Me Fifteen Minutes And You Calls It Noon
- Lawdy Mamie
- Cap'n Got A Pistol
- Cap'n What Is On Your Mind?
- Mr. Tyree

from Rounder 4004 liner notes:
"This album was originally prepared for release on the Timely label but jackets were never printed and the only copies of the record which left Gellert's apartment went to friends or to others who had heard about it by word of mouth; the total was about 40 discs."

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eight page leaflet accompanying Rounder 4004

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Timely Records TI-112
[40 [or 100] copies only,
jackets never printed]


notes drawn from various
writings of Lawrence
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click to read liner notes!

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= Rounder 4004 (1973)

21982Various unknown Artists: Cap'n You're So Mean
Negro Songs Of Protest Volume Two

- Cap'n You're So Mean
- Don't Go To Georgia
- Listen Here Cap'n
- This Ol' Hammer
- Joe Brown
- Nine Pound Hammer
- You Don't Know My Mind
- Cap'n You Oughta Be Shamed
- Standin' On The Streets Of Birmingham
- Trouble, Trouble
- 30 Blows From Time
- Gonna Leave Atlanta

- Chain Gang Blues
- Red Cross Store
- Annie Lee
- Why Didn't Somebody Tell Me
- Please Bossman Tell Me
- Cap'n Hide Me
- Delia
- White Folks Ain't Jesus (How long)
- I went On Down To Okalonda
- Trouble In Mind
- Cap'n Cap'n
- Green Street Car

notes by Bruce Conforth
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Rounder 4013
31984Various unknown Artists: Nobody Knows My Name
Blues from South Carolina and Georgia

- Boogie Lovin'
- 30 Days In Jail
- Ding Dong Ring
- Pick & Shovel Cap'n
- 6 Months Ain't No Sentence
- Hard Times Hard Times
- Trouble Ain't Nothin But A Good Man Feelin Bad
- Down In The Chain Gang

- Prison Bound Blues
- Georgia Chain Gang
- Gonna Leave From Georgia
- Black Woman
- Shootin' Craps & Gamblin'
- Nobody Knows My Name
- I Been Pickin' & Shovellin'

notes by
Bruce Harrah-Conforth
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Heritage HT 304

(=) Document DOCD 5599

41998Field Recordings, Vol. 9
Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky

Georgia (1928-1932)
- Boogie Lovin
- 30 Days In Jail
- Ding Dong Ring
- Hard Times, Hard Times
- Prison Bound Blues
- Georgia Chain Gang
- Shootin' Craps And Gamblin'
Georgia Field Hands
- Mary Don't You Weep

- Trouble Ain't Nothin But A Good Man Feelin Bad
- Black Woman
- Gonna Leave From Georgia
South Carolina (1924 - 1939)
- Pick And Shovel Captain
- 6 Months Ain't No Sentence
- Down In The Chain Gang
- Nobody Knows My Name
- I Been Pickin' And Shovellin'
Hannah Bessellion
- Heaven Is A Beautiful Place I Know
- I've Got Another Building
- We're Going to Break Bread Together On Our Knees
Angie Clark
- Rabbit In The Pea Patch
Unidentified Group Of Tobacco Workers (Unknown Women)
- Run Sinner, And Hide Your Face (Run, Sinner, Run)
Belton Reese
- Bile Dem Cabbages Down
- The Mackenzie Case
North Carolina (1937)
Arthur Anderson
- If You Want to Make A Preacher Cuss
Wheeler Bailey & Preston Fulp
- Never Let The Deal Go Down
Virginia (1928-1935)
Uncle John Scruggs
- Little Old Log Cabin In The Lane
Eddie Thomas & Carl Scott
- Tomorrow
- My Ohio Home
Elder Michaux
- Happy I Am
Kentucky (1930)
Whistler's Jug Band
- Foldin' Bed
click to enlarge!
Document DOCD 5599

Sources / Further reading:
- own record collection
- ebay auctions
- diverse other internet resources
- Bruce Harrah-Conforth: "'Laughing Just To Keep From Crying': Afro-American Folksong and the Field Recordings of Lawrence Gellert." MA Thesis, Indiana University, 1984
- Bruce Bastin: Red River Blues - The Blues Tradition in the Southeast.- Basingstoke, Macmillan, 1986, p. 64-66
- Steven Garabedian: "Reds, Whites, and the Blues: Lawrence Gellert, "Negro Songs of Protest," and the Leftwing Folksong Revival of the 1930s and 1940s". - American Quarterly - Volume 57, Number 1, March 2005, pp. 179-206

from back cover of Rounder 4004; click to enlarge!
Lawrence Gellert collecting songs
in the early 1930s on a Presto tape recorder
source: Back cover of Rounder 4004

Lawrence Gellert writings:
- Negro Songs of Protest: North and South Carolina, and Georgia.- in: Negro Anthology. Edited by Nancy Cunard. London, N. Cunard and Wisehart, 1934
- Negro Songs of Protest. Arranged for voice and piano by Elie Siegmeister. - New York, American Music League, 1936
- Me and My Captain, Negro Songs of Protest Vol. 2. Arranged by Lan Adomian.- New York, Hours Press, 1939
- Tales of One Time I'shman Told by Southern Negroes (unpublished Scrapbook)
- Negro Songs - Protestlieder des amerikanischen Negerproletariats. Aus der Sammlung von Lawrence Gellert hrsg. von G.M Shneerson & Ernst Busch.- Verlag Lied der Zeit 1949, 32 pp.

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source of left column picture: back cover of Rounder 4004


Helen Tamiris's How Long Brethren (1937)

Stefan Wirz

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(latest date of editing: 11/23/2017)