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Album cover: <em>Richard Dyer-Bennet #2</em>. Courtesy of the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections.

Album cover: Richard Dyer-Bennet #2.

Courtesy of the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections.

Dyer-Bennet Audio Recordings

Richard Dyer-Bennet (1913-1991), born in England but raised in California and Canada, was known for his scholarly and precise interpretations and arrangements of folk songs and ballads, some of which date back to the 13th century. Beginning in the early 1940s, he performed in New York clubs with other notable early artists of the Folk Revival like Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly, Burl Ives, Pete Seeger and Josh White. Dissatisfied with his earlier recordings, Dyer-Bennet founded his own record company, in partnership with Harvey Cort, in 1955. Releasing his recordings on Dyer-Bennet Records gave him control over the the sound and structure of his albums, leading to records that followed the progression of his live performances and more accurately reproduced his voice and guitar.

The Dyer-Bennet audio recordings, which date from 1955-1974, were donated to the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage in 1995. They consist of 15 phonograph records and master open reel tapes from Dyer-Bennet Records. The collection also includes a small amount of business records relating to the production of the albums.

See a complete list of Dyer-Bennet Records available through Smithsonian Folkways


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