Woody Guthrie
Posted: 14 July 2012 10:51 PM   [ Ignore ]
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This is the 100 year celebration of his birth.  I’ve always like his songs, but today the local people’s radio station (not public radio), KPFK, had a five hour retrospective on him.  I was dazed at how broad his interests were, the huge volume of music, writings, and even some art that he generated.  The lyrics of his songs are as cogent, powerful, and possibly even more important today than they were when he wrote them.  For a person with little formal education, that man had at least a mind and a half in his skull.  Amazing person who had the ability to express the true core of our country and the problems facing it.

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Posted: 16 July 2012 06:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Absolutely! Woody was the voice of the Depression and those who lived through it. Have you read his bio “Bound For Glory? We had a string band way back when and used to play the coffee houses near UK and we played a lot of Woody’s tunes, Arlo’s too. “This Land is Your Land” is still one of my favorites. He was a real hit in the folk era. We taught our grand kids some of his children’s songs. His songs are timeless! Pete Seeger and Arlo carry on his legacy. Roll on Columbia!


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Posted: 16 July 2012 07:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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And on both sides: “Union Maid” - very powerful, and “Women’s Auxiliary” - unbelieveably funny.

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Posted: 17 July 2012 05:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Two songs sung by the Weavers back then. Pete’s group sang all of Woody’s songs and then some. We still have their albums, yes albums for those of you not familiar with vinyl discs! Union maid was another of my favorites and we used to sing it at campus rallys. Are you familiar with another one called “deportee”? It’s about immigrant farm workers in California and a plane wreck killing several of them on their way back to Mexico. How about “The Ruben James”? The song about the sinking of a warship with the 5 Sullivan Brothers on it? Sad stuff but he wrote about the common man and the trials and tribulations of plain folk. I like “Tom Joad” too from the book “The Grapes of Wrath”. Woody’s songs are a great way to learn about how people survived the Great Depression.

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Posted: 17 July 2012 11:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Yup, familiar with them, and also, “Gonna go ridin’ in the car, car.” smile  Also have one vinyl of him singing, and a number of others of Seegar and the Weavers.  Off topic, but I also have a number of Hoyt Axton disks if you recall him.

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Posted: 17 July 2012 04:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I have two Hoyt Axton albums; he was another great folk singer. And Ridin’ is one of the songs we taught our grandaughters. Also “wheels on the bus”. We have the songs for children album he put out. Do you know about the forbidden verses in “This Land”? We had he opportunity to talk to Arlo about the song after a concert he did here. He said that the producers thought they were too controversial so they left them out of the recording. I guess it had to do with HUAC.

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Posted: 17 July 2012 06:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Woody Guthrie was definitely one of the all time greats. I’ve met Arlo and Sarah Lee (granddaughter). Didn’t get a chance to chat with Arlo as he was more interested in partying with Kinky Friedman than hanging around backstage while people fawned over him. Sarah Lee is a very charming lady, and her son is cute as hell.

One interesting thing about Woody’s catalog: he wrote thousands of songs that have not yet been released. His estate is letting songwriters look through Woody’s collection and pick unreleased songs to record, so we’ll have new Woody Guthrie tunes for decades to come.

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Posted: 17 July 2012 07:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Woody Guthrie was definitely one of the all time greats. I’ve met Arlo and Sarah Lee (granddaughter). Didn’t get a chance to chat with Arlo as he was more interested in partying with Kinky Friedman than hanging around backstage while people fawned over him. Sarah Lee is a very charming lady, and her son is cute as hell.

One interesting thing about Woody’s catalog: he wrote thousands of songs that have not yet been released. His estate is letting songwriters look through Woody’s collection and pick unreleased songs to record, so we’ll have new Woody Guthrie tunes for decades to come.

That’s good news especially for us folk enthusiasts! Maybe his grand kids will sing them. Our meeting with Arlo was pure happenstance. After the show as we were leaving he just walked back on stage and plopped down on the edge. We walked over and thanked him for coming and we talked music for about half an hour. stayed off the “man, you’re great” crap and just talked. He probably didn’t know where he was; we were just another stop on the tour but he didn’t care. I wanted to talk about Woody but thought it inappropriate. This was his concert.


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Posted: 18 July 2012 08:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Yes, Woody was a great voice for the American people.  I love his music. There’s a great collection of his out on Smithsonian Folways Label.
Huge influence on Bob Dylan(and others) who was one of the biggest influences on Rock and Popular music.
I have considered Woody one of the main godfathers of Rock and Roll.
Life magazine website has a neat little foto spread of Woody busking around NY in the late 40s.  Busking around and hanging out.

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Posted: 18 July 2012 09:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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I have considered Woody one of the main godfathers of Rock and Roll.
Life magazine website has a neat little foto spread of Woody busking around NY in the late 40s.  Busking around and hanging out.

Interesting Vy, I never considered Woody’s music as effecting the creation of rock and roll but it makes sense as the rhythms are similar. I wonder if Bill Haley listened to Woody? Yes, he used to pal around with the actor Will Geer while in NY and I believe it was Geer who convinced him to do some recording there. Folkways recordings are top dog. Also Rounder. Both of them rereleased old time music in the 60’s. I think they’re both defunct now but I did see some released as CDs.

 

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Posted: 19 July 2012 11:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 18 July 2012 09:53 AM

I have considered Woody one of the main godfathers of Rock and Roll.
Life magazine website has a neat little foto spread of Woody busking around NY in the late 40s.  Busking around and hanging out.

Interesting Vy, I never considered Woody’s music as effecting the creation of rock and roll but it makes sense as the rhythms are similar. I wonder if Bill Haley listened to Woody? Yes, he used to pal around with the actor Will Geer while in NY and I believe it was Geer who convinced him to do some recording there. Folkways recordings are top dog. Also Rounder. Both of them rereleased old time music in the 60’s. I think they’re both defunct now but I did see some released as CDs.

 

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Yeah well I suppose everything effected the creation/evolution of rock and roll.  But yeah the rhythms and the rebellious quality of some of the themes are influencing.  Plus the jam-outs with Leadbelly and Cisco et al.  Just pure improv jam-outs. 
Songs about riding around in cars.  Songs about stealing.  Songs about lost love.  Lot’s of lyrics for the sake of songing. (yes-songing if you know what I mean.) Just like rock.  Yodeling.  Tral La la’ing…etc.  All pop/rock pre-cursors.

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Posted: 19 July 2012 04:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Yep, Leadbelly , Cisco, Mississippi John, all those fella’s who sang the Memphis blues had a profound influence on early rock. That’s where Evis got his sound. Do you play an instrument Vyasma? You do know about the music. I like blues for the rhythm. It’s a good steady beat and when combined with old time Appalachian music you get a rock ballad. It’s when it was infused with Texas swing that I begin to gag!


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Posted: 19 July 2012 07:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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I missed the Hoyt Axton reference relier. He’s been one of my favorites for a long time, and his early work definitely showed a Woody Guthrie influence.

Hey water for my horses
Is all I’m asking
You can tell the law
Which way I go oh oh
All of my dreams
Are only wind songs
Through the trees
Which seldom grow

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Posted: 20 July 2012 10:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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He used to play in two local folk music places, and we’d always go to see him.  Off-hand I recall a hilarious one called something like “Little Bitty Sheriff in a Little Bitty Town”.

We also usually went to see Kris Kristofferson before he switched away from writing “folk music.”

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Posted: 20 July 2012 04:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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VYAZMA - 18 July 2012 08:34 AM

Huge influence on Bob Dylan(and others) who was one of the biggest influences on Rock and Popular music.
I have considered Woody one of the main godfathers of Rock and Roll.

WG certainly had a great influence on Bob Dylan. Dylan once referred to WG’s music as one you could live by as it encapsulates many aspects of human life.

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