Columbia Records is releasing an album of Woody Guthrie and Huddie "Leadbelly" Ledbetter folk classics performed by Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Little Richard and other contemporary music greats.
"Woody . . . always wanted his music to reach a vast audience, and this record will give it that opportunity," said Guthrie's friend, Harold Leventhal, executive producer of "Folkways: A Vision Shared - A Tribute to Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly."Artist royalties from sales of the album will go to the Smithsonian Institution, which last year acquired Folkways from the estate of its founder, Moses Asch. Guthrie and Leadbelly were two of Folkway's most celebrated performers.
"We played it in the store and got some pretty good reactions," said Jay Simon, album buyer for a Tower Records outlet in Philadelphia.
Alan Lomax, a key figure in folk music and a member of the Anthropology Department at Columbia University, called Leadbelly and Guthrie "complete cronies musically."