First-Ever Collection Of Songs About Money

Smithsonian Folkways Recordings released 'If You Ain't Got the Do-Re-Mi: Songs of Rags And Riches' on March 13, in conjunction with the Museum of American Finance. The album represents the first-ever collection of songs about money, mining America's folk, blues, calypso, bluegrass, old time and rag music traditions. The songs express idioms of hope or frustration, criticism or humor, desire or avowed disinterest in money, but all acknowledge its profound impact on the American psyche.

The collection includes artists such as Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Josh White, Lead Belly and Eric Von Schmidt. The recordings draw from the Folkways and Collector labels.

The songs and artists featured here have had a major influence on American popular music. Bob Dylan adapted "Penny's Farm", using the theme for his own "Maggie's Farm." John Mellencamp covered "Do Re Mi"; Led Zeppelin covered "Gallis Pole" (as "Gallows Pole"); Eric Clapton covered "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out"; and The Byrds covered "Pretty Boy Floyd."

American legends Lead Belly, Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie are arguably the three most important voices in American folk music. Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry, who have a track on the album, were both awarded National Heritage Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts.

'If You Ain't Got the Do-Re-Mi: Songs of Rags And Riches' was compiled by a remarkable team, consisting two-time Grammy Award winner Jeff Place of Smithsonian Folkways; Jack Manischewitz; and Museum of American Finance founder and chairman (and former CEO of the legendary trading firm Herzog Heine Geduld) John Herzog.

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