Poetry, spoken word, documentary recordings, world music, the American folk music revival: Folkways Records & Service Co. began recording them all, and more, in 1948. Now the Smithsonian brings some of the most important recordings in our nation’s history to you at home. Using to entire Folkways catalogue they acquired in 1987, the Smithsonian has compiled 24 one-hour long programs that will make you an instant mini-expert on American blues, jazz, folk music, poetry and more. The series also digs deeper, examining the music and its relationship to the time and societal climate in which it was made. The Civil Rights Movement, labor struggles and women’s rights influenced the artists of those times, and the artists shaped the times, as well. Any modern music with a message was influenced by these artists and recordings, and any fans of that music will want to know where they came from.