Music: When Folk and Rock Get Together

A tribute to a historic record label brings the past up to date

In its 39 years of active life, from 1947 to 1986, Folkways Records was a crazy quilt of Americana, a general store with a deep inventory of oddity, inspiration and wonder. The records sounded as if they had been made out in a field, as indeed they sometimes were. All done up in a sturdy cardboard sleeve, they even felt different. But in the midst of all this homespun, Folkways achieved what other companies bring off by accident: it got history on record.

After Folkways Founder Moses Asch died in 1986, his company might have slipped off too. Folkways was an...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!