Folk-Legacy Records was founded in 1961 by folk musicians Sandy and Caroline Paton with their friend and business partner Lee Haggerty. Their mission was to preserve, create, and share traditional folk music with the public. “People’s music,” or songs, stories, and tunes passed down generationally and shared within communities were of special importance to them, and as folklorists and enthusiasts, they learned the extensive history of songs and traditions, pouring a wealth of cultural knowledge in liner notes and booklets accompanying albums.
Since 1996, Right on Rhythm Records has been a home for Washington, D.C.’s zydeco and blues-loving communities. Its release history includes Roy Carrier, Nap Turner, Mark Wenner, Robert Lighthouse, and more. Label founder Wayne Kahn wished to not only uplift these artists and their work, but to reflect his belief in the importance of Washington, D.C., as a bastion of music. Beginning as most do, as a fan, in the summer of 1994 Wayne decided to use the $1,500 sum of his lottery winnings to record local musicians and their live performances and give them work tape. By the end of the following year, Wayne had amassed hours upon hours of live performances and largely DIY studio tapings. Today, Right on Rhythm’s diverse collection of releases continues to reflect its celebration of D.C.’s rich music scene, and the many artists whose work has created its history.
Smithsonian Folkways Recordings is the nonprofit record label of the Smithsonian Institution. Folkways is dedicated to supporting cultural diversity and increased understanding among peoples through the documentation, preservation, and dissemination of sound. Folkways believes that musical and cultural diversity contributes to the vitality and quality of life throughout the world. Through the dissemination of audio recordings and educational materials Smithsonian Folkways seeks to strengthen people's engagement with their own cultural heritage and to enhance their awareness and appreciation of the cultural heritage of others.
The Western Jubilee Recording Company was founded in Colorado Springs in 1996 by Scott O’Malley, an avid collector and connoisseur of Western and cowboy music. The artists O’Malley worked with are from families of farmers and ranchers and write songs about authentic experiences on the range. Many of the albums were recorded live at Western Jubilee’s historic Warehouse Theater in Colorado Springs. Draped in colorful quilts with guitars and memorabilia lining the tin walls, the Western Jubilee stage is a space dedicated to storytelling and the artists who have passed through it. Their commitment to the preservation of old-time music has earned the label a collection of well-loved releases and multiple Grammy nominations. Soft-spoken storytelling, a deep love of the land, and an appreciation for companionship provide tender insight into life on the range, showing there’s more to cowboys than machismo.
This playlist features spoken word recordings of poetry readings. It includes major poets like Langston Hughes, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Robert Frost, Dante Alighieri, Gertrude Stein, Yeats, Lorca. Historical and geographic areas include English Medieval through to the Contemporary period poetry, African American poetry, ancient Greek poetry, Brazilian poetry, Chinese poetry, Cuban poetry, French poetry, German poetry, Irish poetry, Persian poetry, and more.