Sixty years ago, Moses Asch set out with the lofty ambition to record "all the sound of the world." He established Folkways Records — "the little label that could" — and in the decades that followed, Folkways recorded everything from folk singers, to jazz greats, to sounds of the natural world.You can listen to the program and read an excerpt from Carlin's book here.
Worlds Of Sound, a new book by Richard Carlin, details the history of Smithsonian Folkways and how Asch and his collaborators were able to "capture the soundscape of a century."
The Old-Time Herald has a nice article detailing Asch's life, the establishment/development of Folkways and its ultimate merger with Smithsonian.
Here is Asch, from the pages of Sing Out! in 1961, declaring himself for folk music.