The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #166457   Message #3988771
Posted By: Joe Offer
23-Apr-19 - 04:32 PM
Thread Name: Folk-Legacy acquired by Smithsonian-Folkways
Subject: Folkways acquires Folk-Legacy Records
Folkways Records was founded by Moses Asch in 1948. As the Folkways Website says, "Following Asch's death, in 1987 the Smithsonian Institution Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage in Washington D.C. acquired Folkways Recordings and the label's business papers and files to ensure that the sounds and genius of its artists would continue to be available to future generations.
As a condition of the acquisition, the Smithsonian agreed that virtually all of the firm's 2,168 titles would remain "in print" forever—a condition that Smithsonian Folkways continues to honor through its custom order service. Whether it sells 8,000 copies each year or only one copy every five years, every Folkways title remains available for purchase."

Over the years, Folkways and later Smithsonian Folkways acquired various small folk labels (take a look - click), and those are also included in the Smithsonian Folkways catalog. I had often wondered what would happen to the catalog of Sandy and Caroline Paton's Folk-Legacy Records once the Patons passed on, and I hoped that maybe Smithsonian Folkways would acquire them. In one of the threads about the death of Caroline Paton, I read that S-F had indeed acquired Folk-Legacy, but there were no details about the acquisition and I see nothing about it at the S-F Website. Can anybody tell us about this? The only mention I can find is in one obituary for Caroline (click).

In the process of looking for information about the acquisition, I came across a fascinating piece about Folk-Legacy at the University of North Carolina:

With the help of Smithsonian-Folkways, Folk-Legacy should live forever! Won't that be wonderful?


Here's a 30th-anniversary article about Folk-Legacy, published in Sing Out! Magazine in about 1997:!.pdf