Recording entries in the Ballad Index are listed in the most minimal way, listing the singer, the song title, and a recording abbreviation (plus notes if needed). Record titles in the Traditional Ballad Index have been abbreviated to save space. Fuller information is included in this Discography. Note that some recordings will exist in slightly different forms in LP, Cassette, or CD. The list below shows the format which has been indexed.
For example, in the entry for "Little Joe the Wrangler [Laws B5]," we
find the item
Arnold Keith Storm, "Little Joe, the Wrangler" (on AKStorm01)
That is, on the LP recording AKStorm01 (Arnold Keith Storm), we find a copy of this song titled "Little Joe, the Wrangler."
For songs issued on 78s, or field recordings issued as parts of collections,
the notation is somewhat more complicated:
Buell Kazee, "The Butcher's Boy" (Brunswick 213A, 1928; on AAFM1)
This means that the song was issued on 78 under the title "The Butcher's Boy." The original recording, made in 1928, was Brunswick 213A; this has since been reissued on the Harry Smith anthology (AAFM1).
Occasionally we will cite an unissued 78 -- e.g.
E. R. Nance Singers, "Jack and Joe" (ARC, unissued, 1930)
In most cases, naturally, we have not heard these. They are indexed based on titles (and we usually require fairly distinctive titles). None of these citations can be considered certain; we include them for purposes of establishing the range and popularity of the song.
In addition, we have included some recordings found on highly reputable
web sites. These use a slightly different notation: They are not found on
a recording but in a collection. So under "The Lass of Glenshee"
[Laws O6] we find
Warde Ford, "Lass of Glen Shee" (AFS 4199 A1, 1938; tr.; in AMMEM/Cowell)
This means that a 1938 recording by Warde Ford, under the title "Lass of Glen Shee," is in the Library of Congress Archive of Folk Song with the catalog number AFS 4199 A1; this is now available (with a transcript, as indicated by the notation "tr.") in the online collection AMMEM/Cowell.
Note: Unlike books, no notation is used to show whether records are fully or partially indexed. The assumption is that all songs on a record known to be traditional have been indexed. (This, obviously, is especially true for field recording collections; it is less easy to tell in the case of "ordinary" records.)
Online collections so indexed include:
Because of their sheer numbers, we do not include a catalog of 78s cited. The abbreviations used for LPs are:
Also cited but not yet properly indexed:
Note: Numbered Recordings are not numbered "in order" (that is, our numbers are not chronological or based on catalog number or the like; the numbers are based simply on the date the recording was entered in our database. So, for example, FProffitt01 is actually Frank Proffitt's last record).
1. Recording contains material that also appears on the anthology HiddenE; not otherwise indexed.
Note: No attempt is made to list all performers who appear on anthology recordings. Only primary performers are listed.
The Traditional Ballad Index is copyright © 2020 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.