THE 5-VOL. SERIES IS AVAILABLE IN ITS ENTIRETY FOR THE FIRST TIME IN ONE GORGEOUS PACKAGE
On April 21, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings released Pete Seeger's American Favorite Ballads, a five-CD box-set featuring the time-honored classics Pete Seeger recorded with Moses Asch between 1957 and 1962. All five volumes of Seeger's landmark recordings, instrumental in sparking the folk revival of the 1960s, are presented here in beautiful packaging, digitally re-mastered, with exhaustive liner notes and historical annotations for each song written by the compiler Guy Logsdon and Smithsonian Folkways archivist Jeff Place.
Pete Seeger, who turned 90 on May 3 (read our review of his huge Birthday celebration here, is perhaps the most venerated American folk musician of all time. A folklorist, writer and musician of prodigious integrity and talent, Seeger set out to assemble the definitive American songbook in the late 1950s with his American Favorite Ballads series. The 1950s and early 1960s were a prolific time of recording for Pete Seeger and Folkways Records, and American Favorite Ballads is the cornerstone of this collaboration. The series features the songs that American families had learned, sung and passed down for generations, and sparked unprecedented new interest in American folk music among young students and musicians, ultimately leading the way for the vibrant folk revival of the 1960s.
During the height of the 1960s folk revival, these records became essential for any student of folk music to learn and incorporate into their repertoire. American Favorite Ballads features over 130 songs integral to American identity. Highlights include Lead Belly's House of the Rising Sun," Woody Guthrie's Hard Travelin'," and other seminal classics such as John Henry," Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child," She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain," Goodnight, Irene," Swanee River," Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair," This Land Is Your Land," Swing Low, Sweet Chariot," I've Been Working on the Railroad" and numerous others.
Check out our coverage of Pete Seegers's huge Birthday celebration at MSG here.