(The Hollywood Reporter) New York-based Ryko Distribution will handle Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit record label of the Smithsonian Institution, the national museum.
The new deal is effective Jan. 1. Smithsonian Folkways had been distributed for more than a decade by Port Washington, N.Y.-based Koch Entertainment Distribution.
Smithsonian Folkways is one of the largest caches of classic American folk music in the country.
In 1987, the Smithsonian Institution Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage acquired the recordings and papers of Folkways Records, the New York label founded in 1948 by the late Moses Asch and partner Marian Distler.
Smithsonian Folkways has reissued a large number of Asch’s catalog recordings by such legendary talents as Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly and Pete Seeger on CD. In 1998, the label won two Grammy Awards for its reissue of Harry Smith’s landmark 1952 “Anthology of American Folk Music.”
As a proviso of the purchase, the label has kept the entire Folkways catalogue available for sale through its custom-order service.
Since 1987, Smithsonian Folkways has released more than 300 new recordings on the imprint.