Folkways Records was founded by Moses Asch and Marian Distler in 1948 to document music, spoken word, instruction, and sounds from around the world. In the ensuing decades, New York City-based Folkways became one of the largest independent record labels in the world, reaching a total of nearly 2,200 albums that were always kept in print.
The Smithsonian Institution acquired Folkways from the Asch estate in 1987 to ensure that the sounds and genius of the artists would be preserved for future generations. All Folkways recordings are now available on high-quality audio cassettes, each packed in a special box along with the original LP liner notes.
Smithsonian Folkways Recordings was formed to continue the Folkways tradition of releasing significant recordings with high-quality documentation. It produces new titles, reissues of historic recordings from Folkways and other record labels, and in collaboration with other companies also produces instructional videotapes, recordings to accompany published books, and a variety of other educational projects.
The Smithsonian Folkways, Folkways, Cook, and Paredon record labels are administered by the Smithsonian Institution's Center for Folklife Programs and Cultural Studies. They are one of the means through which the Center supports the work of traditional artists and expresses its commitment to cultural diversity, education, and increased understanding.
You can find Smithsonian Folkways Recordings at your local record store. Smithsonian Folkways, Folkways, Cook, Dyer-Bennet, and Paredon recordings are all available through:
Smithsonian Folkways Mail Order
414 Hungerford Drive, Suite 444
Rockville, Md 20850
Phone: (301) 443-2314
Fax (301) 443-1819
Orders Only 1-800-410-9815
(Discover, MasterCard, and Visa accepted)
For a free catalogue, write:
The Whole Folkways Catalogue
Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
955 L'Enfant Plaza, Suite 2600 Smithsonian Institution
Washington, DC 20560
Phone: (202) 287-3262
Fax: (202) 287-3699