After Lead Belly’s 1935 pardon he worked with the Lomax’s to help collect hundreds of folk songs across Southern prisons. In 1936 John Lomax and Huddie Ledbetter went their separate ways with both men pioneering both the recording and performing of American folk history . Ledbetter obtained legal representation and sought more money from Lomax, eventually the two worked out a settlement that allowed Lomax to use Lead Belly’s songs in his book Negro Folk Songs as Sung by Lead Belly, published in 1936. In February 1936, Lead Belly moved to New York City with his wife Martha Promise and quickly build a career as a performer in the Greenwich Village section of Manhattan.
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