15 artists, 763 songs
American folk music was recognized as a genre during the late 1920s, when the Library of Congress began archiving roots music. Folk historians like John and Alan Lomax traveled to remote areas of the United States to record hundreds of unknown singers and musicians performing gospel and spiritual music, work and railroad songs, Anglo-American ballads and blues, preserving America's musical heritage forever. During the '30s, Alan Lomax recorded Huddie "Leadbelly" Ledbetter and Woody Guthrie, two influential folk artists who are considered the forefathers of modern American folk music. Other important folk artists from this period include Josh White and Doc Boggs, both of whom were rediscovered during the 1960s folk revival.