Joan Baez among Vanguard Reissues for Record Store Day

Posted on April 1, 2014

When vinyl lovers fire up the turntables this month to celebrate the seventh annual Record Store Day, they’ll be spinning a few all-time-great titles from Vanguard Records.

Fans were polled this year to name their favorite titles from Vanguard’s back catalog—an archive which stretches back more than 60 years. Founded in 1950 by brothers Maynard and Seymour Solomon, Vanguard was largely a classical-music label in its formative years, before rising to prominence in the 1960s with several seminal folk and blues releases.

The four albums to top the poll are Big Mama Thornton’s 1975 live album Sassy Mama; Doc Watson’s classic Southbound from 1966; Ramblin’ Jack Elliott’s self-titled 1964 Vanguard debut Jack Elliott; and Blessed Are, Joan Baez’s 1971 double LP that featured the folk singer’s memorable takes on “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” and “Let It Be.”   

All four reissues have been newly remastered from their original tapes and will be packaged as “exact replicas” of the original LP’s. They’ll be available April 19 at participating independently owned record stores.

Record Store Day was launched in 2008 to help promote independently owned record stores; it takes place the third Saturday of April. For more information, check out

Check out Baez's performance of "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" from her 1973 appearance on the NBC variety show "The Midnight Special," above.

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