Arhoolie Records 45rpm Discography by Tom Ball

Arhoolie Records was founded  in 1960 by Chris Strachwitz. Throughout the years of the vinyl disc,  Arhoolie Records released 57 45rpm records. Back then it was still possible to get some radio and jukebox play if you had a 45.

This discography is the work of musician and author Tom Ball who the Arhoolie Foundation thanks for taking the time to document this part of the Arhoolie Records history. You can contact Mr. Ball at

The art work featured below depicting the various genres was originally created by R. Crumb for Chris Strachwitz’s publication The Lightning Express. The Arhoolie guitar logo and label designs were created by graphic artist Wayne Pope.

Arhoolie Records was acquired by the Smithsonian Institution in 2016.

Arhoolie Records 45rpm discography by Tom Ball

Statement on the passing of Chris Strachwitz

Arhoolie Records Founder
July 1, 1931 – May 5, 2023

We celebrate the life of our founder, friend, and great record man Chris Strachwitz. He died peacefully at home in Marin County, CA, surrounded in his last days by dear friends and family. Over his 91 years, Chris captured the music that represents the best “down home music” the world has to offer.

He was at the forefront of nearly all the roots revivals over the last 60 years including blues, zydeco, Cajun, Norteño and Tejano music. His drive to document traditional music helped introduce the nation to our diverse musical heritage. He had the foresight to save music that might have otherwise been lost to obscurity and played a role in strengthening cultural traditions through his records, films, and most recently the Arhoolie Foundation. He cared for those around him, fought for royalties and recognition for Arhoolie artists, and provided counsel to countless musicians, writers, film makers, and academics.

Plans for a public celebration of his life will be announced in the coming weeks. Today we’re thinking of all that Chris brought to our lives and the lives of the musicians and fans with whom he shared his passion.