Smithsonian Folkways Recordings has re-released Folkways: The Original Vision-Songs of Woody Guthrie and Lead Belly. The 15-year-old album has been digitally remastered and has six bonus tracks, new packaging and expanded notes.
Original Vision includes Lead Belly's signature "Midnight Special," "Rock Island Line," "Irene" and Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land.” Original Vision was a companion to the Grammy-winning 1988 album Folkways: A Vision Shared – A Tribute to Woody Guthrie & Lead Belly (Columbia), which featured the original versions of songs reinterpreted by Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, U2 and others.
After Folkways founder Moses Asch's death in 1986, The Smithsonian Institution acquired the massive Folkways catalog, forming Smithsonian Folkways Recordings to ensure that the music of its artists would be available to future generations. As a condition of the acquisition, the Smithsonian agreed that the entire catalog would remain in print forever—a condition it continues to honor through its custom mail order service and recently launched online digital download service, Smithsonian Global Sound. Since 1987, Smithsonian Folkways has continued to expand on Asch's legacy, acquiring several other record labels and releasing over 300 new recordings that document and celebrate the “people's music.”