Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Thursday, October 29

Gapers Block

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In 1959, musicologist Alan Lomax recorded folk songs by inmates in Mississippi's prisons and work gangs. Four decades later, one of those songs, "Po' Lazarus," was selected for the "O Brother, Where Art Thou" soundtrack. When the album became a best-seller, its producers spent more than a year searching for the singer of "Po' Lazarus." They finally found him living in a rundown Chicago apartment. He had never heard of the movie and had forgotten Lomax's visit. They gave him a $20,000 check, the first of several royalty payments, and paid for his first plane trip, to L.A. for the 2002 Grammy Awards. The singer, James Carter, died last week at the age of 77. [Trib. login: gapers/gapers]

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