Skyline Farms Band, 1937

Members of the Skyline Farms Band perform at Skyline Farms in Jackson County in this 1937 photo by renowned American artist Ben Shahn. In 1938, the group became the first traditional music act to play at the White House, performing for Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt. Shahn was one of a host of talented photographers who worked for the federal Resettlement Administration during the Great Depression to document rural life. He was urged to join the agency by friend Walker Evans, who published the most iconic photos of poverty in rural Alabama in the 1941 book Let Us Now Praise Famous Men.

Courtesy of the Library of Congress