Featuring 2,632 Audio Recordings from the Florida Folklife Collection including interviews, field recordings and performances at the Florida Folk Festival dating back to 1954. The State Archives of Florida houses thousands of unique sound recordings currently undergoing digitization; highlights from these efforts are available on this page as sampler CDs, podcasts, and MP3s.



Where the Palm Trees Shake at Night

Featured Podcast

Download: MP3

Florida pianist Alexander McBride performs blues, boogie-woogie, and soul music at the 1993 Florida Folk Festival.

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2014 Florida Folk Festival

Florida Folklife Festival Logo

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park invite you to the 62nd Annual Florida Folk Festival this Memorial Day Weekend, May 23-25, 2014 on the banks of the historic Suwannee River.  The Festival has once again been named a “Top 20 Event” in the Southeast! With the best of Florida’s music, arts and culture there is something for everyone. You’re sure to hear plenty of wonderful music, enjoy tasty food, join a jam session, take a workshop, do a little shopping and pay tribute to Florida’s land, people and diverse cultural heritage! In addition to a full schedule of performances, you’ll find plenty to amuse and educate. Read more...

Florida Folk Festival Recordings

The first recordings were created in 1954 by curator of the Stephen Foster Memorial, Foster Barnes, after the success of the first festival in 1953. Barnes continued to record the festival for the next decade. Following his retirement in 1965, other memorial staff maintained the practice. As control of the festival shifted to the Florida Folklife Program in 1979 and the Florida Park Service in 2003, both agencies continued to record the performances.

Recordings by Decade

1950s | 1960s | 1970s | 1980s | 1990s | 2000s

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Origins of the Folklife Recordings

The largest part of the Florida Folklife Collection consists of records, notes, images, and recordings generated by professional folklorists working in the Florida Folklife Program during its first 20 years (1976-1995).

The Florida Folklife Program documents and presents the folklife, folklore, and folk arts of the state. Its full-time staff of professional folklorists, based in the Florida Bureau of Historic Preservation, coordinates a wide range of activities and projects designed to increase awareness about Florida's traditional culture.

Florida Folklife Program