Folk Music In America, compiled by Dick Spotswood
November 12, 2016 2:28 PM   Subscribe

“Folk Music in America” is a series of 15 LP records published by the Library of Congress between 1976 and 1978 to celebrate the bicentennial of the American Revolution. It was curated by librarian/collector-cum-discographer Richard K. Spottswood, and funded by a grant by the National Endowment for the Arts. The music, pulled primarily from the Library of Congress Archive of Folk Song (now Archive of Folk Culture), spans nearly a century (1890-1976) and virtually every form that can be considered American music. This includes native American songs and instrumental music, music of immigrant cultures from all over the world, and uniquely American forms like blues, jazz and country.
Folk Music in America
Some notes about method:

All tracks are in “mono”. Some of the tracks were recorded in stereo, but for the sake of keeping a sane workflow, minimizing hosting and serving cost, and cleaning up after well-used records, I decided to sum them all to mono.

Some tracks skip or have otherwise unavoidable blemishes, it’s just part of transferring old records. Try to enjoy it despite these. If you catch something particularly grievous, email me and I’ll try to make it better. Alternately, if you’re an engineer and would like to try your hand at a better production, email me and I can send you the Audacity project files.

All tracks are listed under the genre of “folk” in the ID3. This can obviously be broken down more meaningfully, but I don’t want to confuse anyone’s libraries or misidentify.

Finally, many of the foreign language recordings include diacritics that I couldn’t be bothered to include in the titles, but they’re correct in the booklets. It was a big project, ok?! I hope you enjoy the recordings despite some of these imperfections
See also

Navigating Musical History with WAMU’s Dick Spottswood

See also

Folk Music in America : Download 252 songs covering nearly a century of music

Folk Music in America celebrated with amazing free download of 252 songs covering nearly a century of music
posted by y2karl (10 comments total) 61 users marked this as a favorite
Now I come to find that this was previously 2013 by flapjax at midnite-- after spending $13 at FedEx after being driven crazy by my Lenovo laptop bombarding me with.drop down menus everytime I tried to scroll up or down. Well, I did search by multiple sites and keywords.
posted by y2karl at 3:18 PM on November 12, 2016 [2 favorites]

Oh, well...
posted by y2karl at 3:23 PM on November 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

I missed it the first time around, so it was worth your $13 -- to me at least... ;>

This has now been integrated into the saintjoe collection, where it'll rank right up there with the Anthology of American Music, Joe Bussard's Weird & Wonderful Pre-War Folk Anthology, the Charlie Poole set (You Ain't Talkin' to Me), Roots N' Blues: The Retrospective, and the relatively recent Bristol Sessions box.

Thanks from the bottom of my old-timey heart!
posted by saintjoe at 3:52 PM on November 12, 2016 [4 favorites]

thank you! I hope the skips + blemishes are just super minor and don't make me want to hunt it down for a better transfer.
posted by Theta States at 4:00 PM on November 12, 2016

Dang that was a fast download. I love compilations like this. Thanks for posting, y2karl!
posted by glonous keming at 5:46 PM on November 12, 2016

now Archive of Folk Culture

And now part of the American Folklife Center, at the Library of Congress. AFC includes the archive (collections), and programs and outreach (and this includes education).

I know a little about this. /cough
posted by datawrangler at 6:41 PM on November 12, 2016 [3 favorites]

A wonderful reminder for me to check back in with The Obsolete Music Hour w/ Dick Spotswood, thanks!
posted by shaqlvaney at 8:04 PM on November 12, 2016

Cool! Thanks for posting. My bro is into this stuff professionally.
posted by persona au gratin at 1:06 AM on November 13, 2016

A welcome addition to my ridiculously overcrowded mp3 library. Thanks!
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:58 AM on November 13, 2016

thank you! Spottswood is the best. Shame WAMU relegated him to the secondary channels
posted by destro at 3:20 PM on November 14, 2016

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