Photos of Records of South American Folk Music from the 1950s

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


A blog about photos of records of South American folk music from the 1950s.


In the early 1950s, ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax journeyed to South America on a Fulbright scholarship to study the region’s folk music. Lomax documented his findings in a series of field recordings and photographs, many of which were included in his 1955 book “Folk Songs of the Americas.”

The photographs in this gallery showcase a selection of the South American folk music recordings that Lomax collected during his time in the region. They provide a rare glimpse into the musical traditions of countries like Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, and Uruguay during a period of great change.

The 1950s in South America

In the 1950s, South American folk music saw a huge surge in popularity. This was due to a number of factors, including the rise of the record industry, the increased availability of recorded music, and the increasing popularity of radio.

Political and economic background

The 1950s were a decade of significant change for South America. The continent had been marked by instability and turmoil in the aftermath of World War II, but the 1950s saw the beginning of a period of political and economic stability. This stability was due in part to the rise of military dictatorships in many countries, as well as foreign aid from the United States. The 1950s also saw the beginning of economic growth in South America, as countries began to industrialize and urbanize.

This period of stability and growth came to an end in the 1960s, when military dictatorships began to crumble and mass protests against them erupted. However, the legacy of the 1950s is still evident in South America today, in both its positive and negative aspects.

The music scene

The music scene in South America during the 1950s was very vibrant. A wide variety of genres were popular, including tango, bossa nova, and mambo. Folk music was also very popular, and many different groups performed a wide variety of styles.

The records

The records of South American folk music from the 1950s are a great source of information about the music of that time period. The photos of the records are a great way to see what the music looked like and to see how it was performed. The records are a great way to learn about the music of that time period.

Record labels

There are a variety of different record labels that were popular in South America during the 1950s. Some of the most popular labels included Odeon, Columbia, and RCA Victor. Each of these labels had their own unique sound and style, and they helped to shape the sound of South American music during this era.

Cover art

Cover art is often the first thing we notice about a record, and it can be just as important as the music inside. The right image can make us want to hear what’s on the record, even if we’ve never heard of the artist before. It can also give us a sense of what the music will sound like.

great cover art can come in many forms. It might be a photo of the artist, or it might be an abstract design that captures the feeling of the music. Sometimes it’s simply a cool image that has nothing to do with the music itself. Whatever form it takes, great cover art is always memorable.

The records featured here all come from South America, and they were all released in the 1950s. The cover art is colorful and evocative, and it gives us a glimpse into another time and place. These records are more than just pieces of music — they’re time capsules that transport us to another era.

The music

The music of South America is as varied as its people and cultures. From the traditional folk music of the Andes Mountains to the modern pop and rock of Brazil, there is a wealth of sounds and styles to explore.

One of the most interesting aspects of South American music is the way that different cultures have influenced each other, creating a unique blend of styles. For example, Afro-Brazilian music has been shaped by the rhythms and melodies of Africa, while the music of Argentina has been influenced by the traditions of Europe.

Whether you’re keen to explore the traditional sounds of South America or to experience its more modern vibes, there’s sure to be something to suit your taste.


Although the records of South American folk music from the 1950s may seem primitive by today’s standards, they offer a unique glimpse into the musical culture of the time. These records provide an important record of the music of the people who lived in South America during this period, and they offer a rare opportunity to hear the music of this region as it was originally performed.

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