Frequently Asked Questions
What is Folk Music Archives?
A: Folk Music Archives is recording and interviewing folk music artists in an
effort to document their life's work.
Is this a commercial or non-profit project?
A: Folk Music Archives is not a commercial project. It's single goal
is to record, document and preserve the historical importance of all folk
artists by providing a platform to tell their stories.
Does Folk Music Archives do other projects?
A: No. Folk Music Archives only purpose is to interview and record in
collaboration with the Library of Congress American Folklife Center. All recording
are made part of the permanent collection of the Center.
Why are the interviews recorded by Folk Music Archives
different than commercial interviews or other programs aired on radio or
A: Since the interviews are recorded for archival preservation, there is no
limitation to interview length or constraint of broadcast deadlines. There is
also no limitation as to subject content, therefore the folk artist or group can
speak candidly about the entire embodiment of their life's work. Interviews do
not have to be "packaged" or shortened as is done for commercial and
public broadcast media.
How is Folk Music Archives funded?
A: At the present time it is self-funded. This has not limited the recording of
folk artists to date , but self-funding cannot sustain the long range
goals and objectives of Folk Music Archives. Funding is an immediate
Can funding support be earmarked
to a specific need?
A. Yes. The "Funding" page lists those areas where funding is needed.
How can I inquire about funding a
project or notify Folk Music Archives about a funding source?
A. There is a FORM on the
How did Folk Music Archives begin?
Frank Shane has known and performed with folk musicians
since the early 60's in Greenwich Village - his group played at The Bitter End
and other Village coffee houses. In 1999 a public radio station asked him to
interview Pete Seeger and The Kingston Trio. With a career in radio broadcasting
and a love for folk music and the folk tradition, he agreed. As Shane put it: "Pete was gracious to invite me to his cabin
for a three hour interview - - The Kingston Trio did interviews in San Antonio,
Texas, and John Stewart flew to New York City. from his home in California."
According to Shane, "I
couldn't compromise the historical importance of the interviews for the sake of
allowing them to be chopped into "sound bytes" all packed into
57-minutes, including, news, weather, commercials, promo's, station I.D.'s,
songs, music intro's and credits." The solution: Folk
Do the folk artists structure or edit the interview?
A: This has never become an issue. Each interview
is unique and there is no pre-set "formula." The structure is determined
by the amount of archival research and the need to get an in depth and
meaningful interview which is historically correct. The artist understands
that the interview is being done for historical archive and not for promotion or
Why do artists agree to be interviewed in such a candid way?
There is no hidden agenda or concealed motive. For many artists this is the
first time they have been given the opportunity to be interviewed solely for the
importance of their artistic work. Also, many are at a point in their life and
careers where they realize that this is the opportunity to be interviewed in a
non-commercial and non-promotional way.
Is there a time limit for each interview?
A: No. Each interview is different. Each must
be complete and historically accurate. Interviews are scheduled to meet
that objective. Groups are interviewed as a "group" and then member individually. For example,
Peter Yarrow, Noel "Paul" Stookey and Mary Travers were interviewed together
in New York City. Individual interviews were recorded in their homes: Massachusetts,
Connecticut and New York City.
Does Folk Music Archives just interview folk artists?
A: No. Folk Music Archives has interviewed C.F. Martin Guitar, venues, authors,
biographers, archivists, museum directors, record companies, producers,
managers, comedians . . .
What is the partnership between Folk Music Archives and the
Library of Congress American Folklife Center?
A: The recorded interviews become part of the permanent collection of the
American Folklife Center. The Center as a repository makes it possible for the
public to obtain the interviews, transcripts or digital computer voice database
of each artist or group. The partnership agreement protects from copyright
infringement and ensures that the material is used appropriately.