County Records was a Virginia-based independent American record label founded by David Freeman in 1963. The label specialized in old-time and traditional bluegrass music. Old-time music collector, Freeman started the County Records label to focus on music from the rural Southeastern United States. He told an interviewer that he selected the name "County" because it evoked the rural, regional, and local aspects of old-time music. Living in New York, Freeman avidly collected recordings from Southern musicians including old-time, bluegrass, country and blues artists. His new label's first release was a reissue of old-time music drawn from his personal collection of 78 rpm recordings from the 1920s and 1930s by Charlie Poole, the Leake County Revelers, Crockett's Mountaineers and similar string bands. A Collection of Mountain Fiddle Music (County 501) was released in 1964, and several similar reissues followed within the 500 series.
Around that same time, Freeman met Charles Faurot, an old-time banjo player from Chicago who was also living in New York. Faurot proposed that he make some new recordings of the old-time musicians who were still performing in Virginia and North Carolina. Freeman agreed, and Faurot traveled south to make eld recordings of 15 artists. The first County Records release of new music was Clawhammer Banjo: Old Time Banjo and Fiddle Tunes (County 701) in 1965, recorded and produced by Faurot. This LP album included new recordings by Wade Ward, who had previously been recorded by John Lomax and Alan Lomax for the Library of Congress. The album was also the recording debut for fiddle and banjo players Fred Cockerham and Kyle Creed. Additional Faurot eld recordings were released on more Clawhammer Banjo Volume 2 (County 717) in 1969 and Clawhammer Banjo Volume 3 (County 757) in 1978. Faurot eventually recorded and produced more than a dozen of County Records' early releases, all numbered in the 700 series to indicate non-reissues.
County Records also expanded into the bluegrass music genre, although Freeman preferred those artists who stayed the closest to their old-time roots. The label's first bluegrass release was 1965's Blue Ridge Bluegrass (County 702) featuring Larry Richardson and the Blue Ridge Boys. County Records founder David Freeman was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Honor in 2002.