Friday, August 29, 2008

Smithsonian Folkways Podcasts FREE on iTunes

The Smithsonian Folkways collection is a vast treasure trove of the history of American music from the last century or so. Now iTunes is making available FREE a series of 24 one-hour video episodes from the Folkways collection, consisting of music, spoken word, and sound recordings. The episodes are available in the iTunes University section of iTunes.

The Folkways recordings episodes cover music styles from country to bluegrass to blues, and each covers a particular artist. This is a great way to get an education (and a free one, at that) about the history of American musical styles and forms. As the iTunes description notes, "the music of modern day giants like Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, and Ani Difranco is interwoven with original Folkways recordings to demonstrate the lasting legacy that Folkways Records has on popular music."

Of course, you'll find older musical pioneers including Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, and Leadbelly, as well as the noted author Studs Terkel.

You can learn more about Smithsonian Folkways and their projects, and buy their recordings, at the Smithsonian Folkways Web site.

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