Folkways Records was probably the most important record company of the 20th Century. Argue with me! You can't. When the entirety of human sonic endeavour is your ambit, the Beatles have nothing on you.
Moses Asch, founder of Folkways, donated a complete set of Folkways albums (more than 2100 altogether!) to the University of Alberta in Edmonton in 1985. Since then, the U of A has been working on FolkwaysAlive, an ongoing, open-ended project that continues the spirit of experimentation, documentation, and cultural broadening that characterized the original Folkways label.
A fantastic documentary series created by CKUA Radio (also, not coincidentally, based in Edmonton) is now available as a podcast. Dig:
•Download a snippet (MP3) from the first episode
•Go to the podcast: via iTunes or via Smithsonian
•Smithsonian Folkways home myspace