Founded in 1950 by brothers Seymour Solomon
and Maynard Solomon
just as the LP format was taking hold (it had been introduced to the market two years previously), Vanguard Records took full advantage of the longer playing time afforded and began life as a classical label, moving easily into jazz, then gospel, bluegrass, blues, and folk (as Joan Baez
's label, they had a high profile during the 1960s folk revival), eventually experimenting with rock groups like the Frost
, although folk and classical remained the label's forte. Vanguard was sold to the Welk Group in 1985. The new owners set about revitalizing the imprint's back catalog, and also began adding contemporary recordings of country and pop artists as the 21st century began. To celebrate the imprint's rapidly approaching 60th anniversary, Vanguard has released a series of brief artist samplers (Vanguard Visionaries
) from the label's peak 1960s and early-'70s era, including this one from John Hammond
, whose fascination with country blues has informed his whole career, had two stints with Vanguard, recording for the imprint from 1963 to 1967 and again from 1976 to 1979. This brief sampler is representative of Hammond
's derivative but still often fascinating approach to country blues.