FolkWorld Issue 34 11/2007; Article by Jim Musselman

A Decade of Folk A Decade of Folk

A Decade of Folk

Appleseed Recordings

The US record company Appleseed Recordings, based in West Chester, Pennsylvania, has also been celebrating their 10th anniversary in the Industry of Human Happiness, otherwise known as the Music Business. Folk music has been closely associated with the struggle for social justice, Appleseed's president and founder Jim Musselman explains.

Sowing the Seeds - Appleseed Recordings

Eric Andersen "You Can't Relive the Past"
Eric Andersen "Beat Avenue"
Eric Andersen "The Street Was Always There"
David Bromberg "Try Me One More Time"
Casey Neill Trio "Portland West"
Cordelia's Dad "Spine"
Donovan "Beat Cafe"
Tim Eriksen "Every Sound Below"
John Wesley Harding "It Happened ..."
Kim & Reggie Harris "Let My People Go!"
Kim & Reggie Harris "Get On Board!"
Martyn Joseph "Whoever it was that brought..."
James Keelaghan "Home"
The Kennedys "Half A Million Miles"
Christine Lavin & Friends "One Meat Ball"
The Love Hall Tryst "Songs of Misfortune"
Kate McDonnell "Where the Mangoes Are"
Roger McGuinn "Treasures from the Folk Den"
Tom Paxton "Looking for the Moon"
T. Paxton & A. Hills "Under American Skies"
Paxton/Hills/Gibson "Best of Friends"
Joel Rafael "Woodyboye"
T. Sands & V. Smailovic "Sarajevo - Belfast"
Peggy Seeger "Love Call Me Home"
Peggy Seeger "Three Score and Ten"
Pete Seeger & Friends "Seeds"
John Stewart "The Day the River Sang"
V/A "If I Had A Song"
V/A "Spain In My Heart"

V/A "Sowing the Seeds - The 10th Anniversary"

I founded Appleseed Recordings in 1996, but the seeds of this venture were sown a long time ago -- the first time I heard the music of Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie.

Appleseed is an important link in the chain of keeping folk songs and folk music alive. (Studs Terkel)
Music, I realized, was power: the power to raise awareness, to influence and alter a person's way of thinking, to draw attention to social and political awareness, to influence and alter a person's way of thinking, to draw attention to social and political issues of extreme importance, to bring about change, and, ultimately, to make the world a better place.

One of the goals of Appleseed Recordings is to present songs of hope, healing and social justice. We are proud that some of our songs have been used across the globe for this purpose. The song "Where Have All the Flowers Gone" was used as an anthem of peace in Northern Ireland and was called the most important song of the century by the BBC.

Another song that we released, Bruce Springsteen's version of "We Shall Overcome," was not only used in the healing process in Colorado after the Columbine school massacre, but also in a video that was broadcast by NBC News more than a dozen times after the recent terrorist attacks on our country. Tom Brokaw called the song an anthem of hope for our troubled times.

Another Appleseed goal is to foster the next generation of Woody Guthries and Pete Seegers.
Pete Seeger

I admire and respect the vision of Apple-seed to unite people through music.
Keep on doing what you're doing, as small organizations like Appleseed give me hope for the human race. (Pete Seeger)
One of the key aspects of folk and traditional music is that it continuously changes and reinvents itself. Far from being a stagnant and brittle call to times long gone, this is a music that remains vital and vibrant, reminding us where we are going by looking at where we have been. From the seeds of the legendary voices of folk, traditional and topical music, there have emerged new voices to carry on the tradition and to twist and alter it deliciously to make it their own. We will continue to give exposure to these voices.

Although 90% of the recording industry is controlled by five major corporations, Appleseed is a completely independent record label. Our mission is to use music as a conduit for artistic freedom and exploration -- the kind of music that touches a universal chord and instills a feeling of the greater whole.

I hope you will enjoy this outstanding catalogue of CDs from a distinctive group of artists who represent the philosophy of Appleseed Recordings and who, as individuals, have dedicated themselves to sowing the seeds of social justice through music.

Jim Musselman & Pete Seeger Appleseed Recordings is an independent record company founded in 1996 by Jim Musselman, an activist attorney, after he worked closely for years with consumer advocate Ralph Nader on many social justice issues in Washington D.C. Appleseed is dedicated to sowing the seeds of social justice through music and to exploring the roots and branches of traditional music. Appleseed is a true independent record company, which accepts no corporate or outside funding, and donates a percentage of its profits to environmental, human rights, and other progressive organizations. Jim Musselman's letter has been first published at:

Photo Credits: (1) 'Sowing the Seeds' Cover, (4) Jim Musselman & Pete Seeger (by Appleseed); (2) Woody Guthrie (by Edition Nautilus); (3) Pete Seeger (unknown).

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