On Sunday, October 22nd, NTS, the global music platform and radio station, will be hosting a celebration of the 75th anniversary of the iconic label Folkways Records, a collaboration with Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. Broadcasting all day, from 7am - 7pm EDT / 11am - 11pm BST, we’re inviting friends and admirers of the label onto the airwaves to share some of their favorite recordings from the label’s seven-decade history, as well as speaking to figures who were key in making Folkways the cultural institution it is today.
We sit down for a conversation with ethnomusicologist and producer Verna Gillis, and hear from one of the most revered living folk artists: Peggy Seeger. Ahead of their new Smithsonian Folkways release Return to Archive, Matmos present an hourlong manipulation of sounds, noises, and voices taken from albums originally released by the Cook and Folkways record labels - stacking, slicing, filtering, and transforming them into different shapes. We’ve also drafted in some Folkways superfans to share their favorite sounds from the extensive catalog: psych heroes Animal Collective mix ethnographic recordings with early experimental and electronic LPs, while Angel Bat Dawid plays her favorite recordings by pioneering jazz pianist and composer Mary Lou Williams, and director Charles Burnett (Killer of Sheep, My Brother’s Wedding) picks from the label’s vast blues archive.
Check out the full line-up below, and tune in from 7am EDT on Sunday October 22nd on
Angel Bat Dawid: A Mary Lou Williams Special
Verna Gillis & Emily Hilliard In Conversation
A Tribute to Lucinda Williams by Jenn Pelly