Last week, I posted about The Sounds of the Office, a 1964 vinyl record released by Folkways Records of field recordings by Michael Siegel. This week, it's The Sounds of the Junk Yard, another 1964 Folkways collection of Siegel's field recordings, ranging from an Acetylene Torch to Alligator Shears to a Paper Baler.
Moses Asch founded the incredibly influential Folkways Records label in 1948 to record and share music and sounds from around the world. Along with bringing the music of Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Lead Belly, and Elizabeth Cotten to wider audiences, Folkways, acquired in 1987 by Smithsonian, also issued incredible sound recordings from the Ituri rainforest, Navajo Nation, Peru, and many other locations and indigenous peoples across the globe.
Along with music, Folkways released LPs with poetry, language instruction, nature sounds (frogs! insects!), and other field recordings. The Sounds of the Junk Yard reminds me of an Einstürzende Neubauten album but was issued a decade before the birth of "Industrial Music" as a genre.
"Some junk yard equipment is common to all of them, some is more specialized," wrote Siegel in the album liner notes. "All these sounds were recorded in yards in Warren, Pennsylvania."
Hear more samples at the Smithsonian Folkways page here.