January 20: Bob Dylan & The Band @ The Woody Guthrie Memorial Concert in 1968

Woody Guthrie had died (after fifteen years of illness) on October 3, 1967, and, apparently at Dylan’s suggestion, plans were made to hold a benefit concert in his honor. The concert took place January 20, 1968, at Carnegie Hall; Dylan appeared backed by the Band (other performers included Odetta, Pete Seeger, Jack Elliot, and Judy Collins), and played three Woody Guthrie songs: “Grand Coulee Dam,” “Dear Mrs. Roosevelt,” and “I Ain’t Got No Home.” These performances were later released on a Columbia album called A Tribute to Woody Guthrie, Part 1. Dylan and the Band are in fine form here – their performances are inventive, exuberant, and sublimely musical.
-Paul Williams (Bob Dylan Performing Artist I: The Early Years 1960-1973)

Carnegie Hall
New York City, New York
20 January 1968
The Woody Guthrie Memorial Concert. Afternoon show.

  • Bob Dylan (guitar & vocal)
  • Robbie Robertson (guitar)
  • Richard Manuel (piano)
  • Garth Hudson (organ)
  • Rick Danko (bass)
  • Levon Helm (drums)

  1. I Ain’t Got No Home (Woody Guthrie)
  2. Dear Mrs Roosevelt (Woody Guthrie)
  3. The Grand Coulee Dam (Woody Guthrie)




Released on on “A TRIBUTE TO WOODY GUTHRIE, Part I”, Columbia KC-31171.

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-Egil

4 thoughts on “January 20: Bob Dylan & The Band @ The Woody Guthrie Memorial Concert in 1968”

  1. ~ performances … inventive, exuberant, and sublimely musical… are rare and transformational… this is it…
    to perform beyond the confines of the limits is to become oneself…sublime in the face of the eternal source ~ what an awakening . . . . . . .

  2. Remembering that year/ event, two points come to mind:

    i) I am certain that there were 2 concerts, on the US east and west coast respectively, though I think that Dylan only appeared at the east coast one, as per above.

    ii) I do not recall having heard in the few press reports at the time that Dylan himself was a prime mover in the decision to hold these concerts. Which were of course held in the early part of Dylan’s period of “retirement” following the motor-bike accident

    1. 2 Concerts:

      Afternoon (“this” one, where 3 songs where picket for the album – A TRIBUTE TO WOODY GUTHRIE, Part 1)

      Carnegie Hall
      New York City, New York
      20 January 1968
      The Woody Guthrie Memorial Concert. Afternoon show.

      1. I Ain’t Got No Home (Woody Guthrie)
      2. Dear Mrs Roosevelt (Woody Guthrie)
      3. The Grand Coulee Dam (Woody Guthrie)
      4. This Land Is Your Land (Woody Guthrie)
      5. This Train Is Bound For Glory (Woody Guthrie)

      1-3 Bob Dylan (guitar & vocal), Robbie Robertson (guitar), Richard Manuel (piano), Garth Hudson (organ), Rick Danko (bass), Levon Helm (drums).
      4, 5 Bob Dylan (guitar & vocal), Pete Seeger (guitar & vocal), Judy Collins (guitar & vocal), Arlo Guthrie (harmonica & vocal), Odetta, Country Joe McDonald, Richie Havens, Tom Paxton ,Jack Elliott (vocal).

      And evening:

      Carnegie Hall
      New York City, New York
      20 January 1968
      The Woody Guthrie Memorial Concert. Evening show.

      1. I Ain’t Got No Home (Woody Guthrie)
      2. Dear Mrs Roosevelt (Woody Guthrie)
      3. The Grand Coulee Dam (Woody Guthrie)

      1-3 Bob Dylan (guitar & vocal), Robbie Robertson (guitar), Richard Manuel (piano), Garth Hudson (organ), Rick Danko (bass), Levon Helm (drums).

      None of the tracks in circulation….

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