Originally released as 3 separate CDs: Leadbelly's IN THE SHADOW OF THE GALLOWS POLE, Woody Guthrie's EARLY MASTERS, and Odetta's AT THE GATE OF THE HORN.
Personnel includes: Leadbelly (vocals, acoustic guitar); Woody Guthrie (vocals, acoustic guitar); Odetta (vocals, acoustic guitar); Sonny Terry (vocals, harmonica); Cisco Houston (vocals).
Giants of the Folk Tradition is a budget box set that includes complete albums by Leadbelly (In the Shadow of the Gallows Pole), Woody Guthrie (Early Masters), and Odetta (At the Gate of Horn), all of which have been released in single-disc versions by Tradition Records. The three albums actually work kind of well together, and it is interesting to compare Leadbelly's driving version of "Gallis Pole" with Odetta's more refined reading of the same song. All three of these artists, although they took different routes to the river, helped establish American folk music as both a viable art and a commercial possibility. ~ Steve Leggett
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