Smithsonian Folkways Recordings

Did you know that almost the entire Folkways label is available online to order and nearly every one of over 2,000 releases isn’t ever supposed to be out of print?

When the label was acquired by the Smithsonian Institute one of the wishes of founder, Moses Asch, was that virtually all of the catalogue was to be kept in print.

You can currently order any release on their site as a custom CD, a download or even a cassette! No vinyl as that just wouldn’t be practical but there’s eBay, Discogs and used stores for that. This is just a handful of my favourite sleeves from nearly 100 pages of releases.

There’s also a nice little feature on Ronald Clyne who designed over 500 of the sleeves and is widely recognised as the originator of the Folkways house style. Unit Editions did a beautiful newspaper-style release about his work a few years back which is now sadly sold out.

One thought on “Smithsonian Folkways Recordings

  1. In addition there’s a set of 24 free podcasts, each lasting just under an hour at iTunes U. Along with snippets from many of the songs in the collection, there’s a running narrative, and even better, we hear from many of the musicians themselves, telling their stories against the cultural backdrop of the times – as well as describing how the entire project was conceived and executed by Mr. Asch himself.

    If the url doesn’t work, just search for ‘The Folkways Collection’ in iTunes U.

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