Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music


Facilitator:       Mac McNeill, 377-2012, mcneil0115@comcast.net
Dates:               Thursdays, Sept. 13– Nov. 1, 2018
Time:                9:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Text:                 None
Presentations:    None

Harry Smith was a filmmaker, artist, and eccentric, who started a collection of old folk, blues, country, Cajun, and gospel records. He accumulated ten thousand 78 rpm records and, over time, began to develop an interest in seeing them preserved and curated.

Working with Folkways Records, Smith selected 84 songs from the thousands in his library, dating from 1927 to the early 1930s, and put them together in a six album set. His Anthology of American Folk Music was released in 1952. Smith’s Anthology became the bible of folk and blues artists and scholars. The late musician Dave van Ronk wrote, "We all knew every word of every song on it, including the ones we hated." The Anthology was the collection that inspired Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, and even the Grateful Dead. Jerry Garcia said he learned blues from the Anthology.

Join us as we listen to and discuss the Anthology’s songs and artists, as well as many of their covers by artists from Dylan to Peter, Paul and Mary to Howlin’ Wolf to Mavis Staples and Credence Clearwater Revival. There is the opportunity for some short presentations, but they are voluntary. No books or music are required.

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