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)
New York City, New York
20 January 1968 The Woody Guthrie Memorial Concert. Afternoon show.
Lots of folks back East, they say, is leavin’ home every day,
Beatin’ the hot old dusty way to the California line.
‘Cross the desert sands they roll, gettin’ out of that old dust bowl,
They think they’re goin’ to a sugar bowl, but here’s what they find
Now, the police at the port of entry say,
“You’re number fourteen thousand for today.”
This is a beautiful version of Woody Guthrie’s “Do Re Mi” performed in Jan 2009. It was aired on the History Channel documentary “The People Speak“.
But first here is Woody Guthrie – The Asch Recordings Vol. 1 (1944):
Then later I got to Woody Guthrie, which opened up a whole new world at the time. I was still only 19 or 20. I was pretty fanatical about what I wanted to do, so after learning about 200 of Woody’s songs, I went to see him and I waited for the right moment to visit him in a hospital in Morristown, New Jersey.
~Bob Dylan (to Ron Rosenbaum, Nov 1977)
Today is Woody Guthrie’s Birthday. Here are seven songs of his which Bob Dylan covers.
Ramblin’ Round Unidentified coffehouse
Ramblin’ around your city,
Ramblin’ around your town,
I never see a friend I know
As I go ramblin’ ’round boys,
As I go ramblin’ ’round.
“The most important thing I know I learned from Woody Guthrie”
~Bob Dylan (The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan liner notes)
Woodrow Wilson “Woody” Guthrie (July 14, 1912 – October 3, 1967) was an American singer-songwriter and folk musician whose musical legacy includes hundreds of political, traditional and children’s songs, ballads and improvised works. He frequently performed with the slogan This Machine Kills Fascists displayed on his guitar. His best-known song is “This Land Is Your Land.” Many of his recorded songs are archived in the Library of Congress.Such songwriters as Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp, Pete Seeger, Joe Strummer, Billy Bragg, Jeff Tweedy and Tom Paxton have acknowledged Guthrie as a major influence.
BBC Documentary on the life of Woody Guthrie, the travelling songwriter and singer who paved the way for the likes of Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen, this is great stuff! :
Guthrie traveled with migrant workers from Oklahoma to California and learned traditional folk and blues songs. Many of his songs are about his experiences in the Dust Bowl era during the Great Depression, earning him the nickname the “Dust Bowl Troubadour.”Throughout his life Guthrie was associated with United States communist groups, though he was seemingly not a member of any.
Knocked Out Loaded is singer-songwriter Bob Dylan’s 24th studio album, released by Columbia Records 14 July 1986.The album was received poorly upon release, and is still considered by some critics to be one of Dylan’s least-engaging efforts. However, the 11-minute epic “Brownsville Girl”— co-written by Sam Shepard—has been cited as one of his best by some critics.
James Beck “Jim” Gordon (born July 14, 1945) is an American recording artist, musician and songwriter. The Grammy Award winner was one of the most requested session drummers in the late 1960s and 1970s, recording albums with many well-known musicians of the time, and was the drummer in the blues rock supergroup Derek and the Dominos, Little Richard, and Delaney & Bonnie. In 1983, Gordon, at the time an undiagnosed schizophrenic, murdered his mother and was sentenced to sixteen years to life in prison.