Smithsonian Folkways Artists:
Recommended CDs from Smithsonian Folkways:
Hazel Dickens & Alice Gerrard: Pioneering Women of Bluegrass (Smithsonian Folkways, 1996) compare prices
Birds, Beasts, Bugs, and Fishes Little and Big: Animal Folk Songs (by Pete Seeger, for Smithsonian Folkways, 1998) compare prices
Books By and About Smithsonian Folkways:
Making People's Music: Moe Asch and Folkways Records, by Peter D. Goldsmith.
Labor's Troubadour by Joe Glazer
Lox, Stocks, and Backstage Broadway: Iconic Trades of New York City by Nancy Groce
Riding in My Car (an illustrated children's book), by Woody Guthrie
Visit the Folkways Books site for more information on their books.
Purchase/Download Folkways MP3s:
"The Virginian Strike of '23" (by Mike Seeger, from Tipple, Loom & Rail: Songs of the Industrialization of the South)
"Keep Your Hands Off Her" (by Leadbelly, from A Vision Revisited - The Original Peformances Of Leadbelly, Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger)
"Three Little Birds" (by Elizabeth Mitchell, from You Are My Little Bird)
History of Smithsonian Folkways Records:
Asch cataloged more than 2,000 recordings in his life with Folkways Records, focusing on the indigenous music of communities around the world, he collected Cajun songs and Mormon songs, protest songs, children's songs, and love songs. He was a major champion of the work of Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly, and Pete Seeger; paying Guthrie to record music during a time when Guthrie would otherwise have been destitute.
When the Smithsonian took over Folkways, the deal was facilitated by Moe's family to make sure the label retained the same dignity with which Asch had always run it. He saw no need, for example, to delete any recordings from his catalog simply because some artists may have become more popular than others. His interest was in preserving folk music. Indeed, the Smithsonian Folkways label has defined as part of its mission statement, an intention to "strengthen people's engagement with their own cultural heritage and to enhance their awareness and appreciation of the cultural heritage of others."
Since 1986, the Smithsonian has added other labels under the Folkways umbrella, bringing in the catalogs of Cook, Monitor, Fast Folk, and others. Fast Folk was the label and magazine developed by folksingers in Greenwich Village during the late 1970s and 1980s. Learn more about Fast Folk with this profile and biography.