The Voice of the People is an anthology of folk songs produced by Topic Records and sung by traditional singers and musicians from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The series was first issued in 1988 as 20 CDs, compiled by Dr Reg Hall, a visiting fellow at Sussex University. A second series was issued in 2012 consisting of four volumes (7 CDs) compiled by Shirley Collins, Steve Roud and Rod Stradling. The singers were celebrities within their own community but unknown to the world at large until collectors arrived with portable tape recorders in the 1950s and 60s. A few of them recorded enough material for an entire album. Most are known for a couple of songs. A few scraps of biographical notes are given in booklets that accompany the discs. Every one of them led working-class lives. Volumes 9 and 19 are collections of instrumentals. In a few cases the singers used song books or ballad sheets to supplement their repertoire, but in most cases their versions are from oral tradition. This collection is the UK equivalent of Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music.