Arhoolie Records Acquired by the Smithsonian Folkways - A message from Arhoolie Records founder Chris Strachwitz
Arhoolie Records

A message from Arhoolie Records founder Chris Strachwitz
Thanks to the generosity of Laura and Ed Littlefield of the Sage Foundation, and the encouragement of the Savoy Family (the First Family of Cajun Music), Arhoolie Records has been acquired from me and my business partner Tom Diamant by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, the nonprofit record label of the national museum. The acquisition includes more than 350 albums released in various formats and on various labels by Arhoolie as well as recordings from three South Texas regional labels specializing in Mexican music (Ideal, Falcon, and Rio), and Andean Huayno music from the Peruvian label Discos Smith.

All Arhoolie Records business from now on will be handled by Smithsonian Folkways and should be directed to Once the transition is completed, all Arhoolie albums will be available on CD and digital formats, along with selected LPs, at

The Down Home Music Store, my retail record store in El Cerrito, CA, will continue to do business as usual, and will remain a prime source for all currently available Arhoolie releases, both in person and by mail order. Visit our website at, our storefront at 10341 San Pablo Ave., El Cerrito, CA 94530, or reach us by phone at (510) 525-2129.

The Arhoolie Foundation will also continue to be based at 10341 San Pablo Ave in El Cerrito. Please visit our website at to find out about our work and ways you can participate or contribute.

Since I’m not King Tut, I can’t take my Arhoolie baby with me. It was Moe Asch, founder of Folkways Records, who told me in so many words, “Chris, you’ve got to think about what you are going to do with all your stuff when you kick the bucket.” I am very pleased that Arhoolie has found a new home at the Smithsonian, where they are committed to keeping everything in print and available to the public by one method or another. It has been fun running Arhoolie Records for the past 55 years. I plan to continue to produce records and assist the staff at Smithsonian Folkways where I can.

Chris Strachwitz