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Singer was youngest child of famed UT folklorist

Michael Corcoran

Bess Lomax Hawes, the youngest child of legendary University of Texas folklorist John A. Lomax, died Friday in Portland, Ore. She was 88.

Hawes — a former member of the Almanac Singers, with Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger and her husband, Butch Hawes — was born in Austin on Jan. 21, 1921, and spent her childhood at the family home on West 26th Street. She often accompanied her father and brother Alan on folk song-collecting trips in the South.

Hawes attended UT for two years and graduated from Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania.

Throughout her life, she carried on her father's work, tirelessly teaching traditional folk music at festivals, schools and universities. In the 1970s and 1980s, she directed the Folk and Traditional Arts program for the National Endowment for the Arts.

In 1993, she was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Bill Clinton. Her 2008 memoir, "Sing It Pretty," received an honorable mention from the International Alliance

for Women in Music in 2009.

She is survived by her three children, Corey Denos of Bellingham, Wash., Naomi Bishop and Nicholas Hawes of Portland, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

mcorcoran@statesman.com; 445-3652