Ever since 1948, Folkways Records has been releasing some of the finest and most important recordings of indigenous music from around the world. It all started, actually, before 1948, when a young, enterprising guy from Greenwich Village started cataloging folk music to 78 RPM recordings. When the LP was invented in 1948, he changed the name of his fledgling operation to Folkways Records and championed the careers of folks like Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger at the same time he was collecting Mormon songs, Cajun songs, and recordings of traditional guitar techniques.
Moe Asch believed in the integrity of everyone's native music and sought to collect all of it, preserving the dignity of faflung communities through their songs. When he died in 1986, the label was acquired by the Smithsonian, where it continues to make its home. Learn more about the incredible history and contributions of Folkways Records, with this introductory profile.
image © Smithsonian Folkways