Judge Learned Hand, American Idol?
June 17 (Bloomberg) — Judge Learned Hand was an esteemed jurist and had perhaps the best name of any judge ever. But did you know he could also rock the mic?
Professor Ross Davies, of the George Mason University School of Law, has unearthed the story of how the great judge, who died in 1961, came to make a recording for the Library of Congress.
Hand knew a folk song that was of interest to the Library of Congress’s Chief of Music who was preserving American Folk Songs. So in 1942, while attending a judicial conference at the Supreme Court, Hand walked across the street to the Library to lay down some vocals.
Alan Lomax, the great folk song promoter who was still in his 20s, recorded the judge. Professor Davies’ journal, The Green Bag (home of the Supreme Court bobblehead doll), has produced 500 copies of the judge’s full recording session.
And now, at long last, Bloomberg Law has taken Hand’s vocal track about the Civil War, and added a full band… Ladies and Gentlemen… Learned Skynyrd!