The Second Disc

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Made for You and Me: American Legend Woody Guthrie Chronicled in New Box Set

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Fewer figures cast a larger shadow in American folk music than Woodrow Wilson Guthrie. The Oklahoman singer/songwriter’s contribution to the fabric of our nation’s sound is innumerable; from Dylan to Springsteen, any songwriter worth their salt in depicting the life, livelihood and dreams of our country owes Woody Guthrie a strong debt.

With this in mind, Smithsonian Folkways will release a new career-spanning Guthrie box set this summer, in honor of what would have been his 100th birthday.

Woody at 100: The Woody Guthrie Centennial Collection compiles three discs of Guthrie’s greatest compositions – “This Land is Your Land,” “So Long, It’s Been Good to Know You,” “Do Re Mi” and more – and includes about a whole disc’s worth of material being released for the first time. These include, tantalizingly, four songs recorded for KFVD-FM in Los Angeles in 1939; these recently discovered tracks are believed to be the earliest surviving recordings Guthrie committed to tape.

The discs are housed in a beautiful hardbound case with 150 pages of liner notes bound inside. The whole thing is yours to buy on July 10, four days before the singer’s centennial. You can preorder the set on its own or as a bundle with a poster, T-shirt and instant download of the box’s contents, right here, where you can also enter your e-mail to receive a free download of unreleased tune “Big City Ways.”

As always, the track list is after the jump!

Woody Guthrie, Woody at 100: The Woody Guthrie Centennial Collection (Smithsonian Folkways, 2012)

Disc 1

  1. This Land is Your Land (Alternate Version)
  2. Pastures of Plenty
  3. Riding in My Car (Car Song)
  4. The Grand Coulee Dam
  5. Talking Dust Bowl
  6. So Long, It’s Been Good to Know Yuh (Dusty Old Dust)
  7. Ramblin’ Round
  8. Philadelphia Lawyer
  9. Hard Travelin’
  10. Pretty Boy Floyd
  11. Hobo’s Lullaby
  12. Talking Columbia
  13. The Sinking of the Reuben James
  14. Jesus Christ
  15. Gypsy Davy
  16. New York Town
  17. Going Down the Road (Feeling Bad)
  18. Hard, Ain’t It Hard
  19. The Biggest Thing That Man Has Ever Done (The Great Historical Bum)
  20. This Land is Your Land (Standard Version)
  21. Jarama Valley
  22. Why, Oh Why?
  23. I’ve Got to Know

Disc 2

  1. Better World A-Comin’
  2. When That Great Ship Went Down (The Great Ship)
  3. A Dollar Down and a Dollar a Week
  4. Talking Centralia
  5. 1913 Massacre
  6. Dirty Overalls
  7. My Daddy (Flies a Ship in the Sky)
  8. Worried Man Blues
  9. Hangknot, Slipknot
  10. Buffalo Skinners
  11. Howdi Do
  12. Jackhammer John
  13. The Ranger’s Command
  14. So Long, It’s Been Good to Know You (WWII Version)
  15. What Are We Waiting On?
  16. Lindbergh
  17. Ludlow Massacre
  18. Bad Lee Brown (Cocaine Blues)
  19. Two Good Men
  20. Farmer-Labor Train
  21. The Jolly Banker
  22. We Shall Be Free

Disc 3

  1. I Ain’t Got No Home (in This World Anymore) (Los Angeles Recording) *
  2. Them Big City Ways (Los Angeles Recording) **
  3. Do Re Mi (Los Angeles Recording) *
  4. Skid Row Serenade (Los Angeles Recording) **
  5. This Land is Your Land (Radio Program: The Ballad Gazette with Woody Guthrie) *
  6. What Did the Deep Sea Say? (Radio Program: The Ballad Gazette with Woody Guthrie) *
  7. Blow Ye Winds (Radio Program: The Ballad Gazette with Woody Guthrie) *
  8. Trouble on the Waters (Radio Program: The Ballad Gazette with Woody Guthrie) **
  9. Blow the Man Down (Radio Program: The Ballad Gazette with Woody Guthrie) *
  10. Normandy Was Her Name (Radio Program: The Ballad Gazette with Woody Guthrie) **
  11. The Sinking of the Reuben James (Radio Program: The Ballad Gazette with Woody Guthrie) *
  12. Intro-Wabash Cannonball (BBC Children’s Hour – 7/7/1944) *
  13. 900 Miles (BBC Children’s Hour – 7/7/1944) *
  14. Stagger Lee (BBC Children’s Hour – 7/7/1944) *
  15. Pretty Boy Floyd (BBC Children’s Hour – 7/7/1944) *
  16. Ladies Auxiliary (People’s Songs Hootenanny)
  17. Weaver’s Life  (People’s Songs Hootenanny) *
  18. John Hardy (WNYC Radio Program: Folk Songs of America – 12/12/1940) *
  19. Jesse James (WNYC Radio Program: Folk Songs of America – 12/12/1940) *
  20. Tom Joad (WNYC Radio Program: Folk Songs of America – 12/12/1940) *
  21. Reckless Talk **
  22. All Work Together
  23. My Little Seed
  24. Goodnight Little Cathy **

* denotes unreleased recording. ** denotes unreleased original song.

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Written by Mike Duquette

May 2, 2012 at 10:51

8 Responses

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  1. This is exciting, although I feel like I’ve already purchased some of this music a few too many times in my life. But, yeah, I’m in.

    ronfwnc

    May 2, 2012 at 12:38

  2. I’d love to see Pete Seeger get a career-spanning set while he’s still with us. Not that Mr. Seeger would much care about such a status symbol, but *I* would like it. :) I suppose cross-licensing might be a challenge, but much of his recorded work was done for either Folkways or Columbia, which would get us a long ways there.

    Ed

    May 2, 2012 at 12:50

    • There are many Seeger CDs on Smithsonian Folkways. There is no need to re-bundle them. But there are still many Folkways records not on real CD, though they do custom CD-Rs of most anything if you want to pay.

      The big need is for SONY-Columbia to issue a complete Seeger Columbia recordings set. I don’t think there is a need to mix the Folkways material in with Columbia

      Kevin

      May 2, 2012 at 16:09

  3. I love the fact that the US Government is issuing Woody Guthrie, who they once called a communist

    Kevin

    May 2, 2012 at 16:05

  4. “…these recently discovered tracks are believed to be the earliest surviving recordings Guthrie committed to tape.”

    Sorry to be a horrible pedant, but surely this should read “committed to disc” unless Woody had access to a tape recorder long before they were in general use.

    Thanks for a most excellent blog!

    OK, now I’m off to go driving in my car! Broom broom chikka chikka broom de broom….

    Mark Phillips

    May 3, 2012 at 07:52

  5. They were committed to disc, lacquer-covered aluminum Prestos, to be exact. Here are some visuals: http://prezi.com/opnnvizt7cmw/gp-promo-2/?auth_key=4c9fe240040b5e40c9d17520dadef65bef368160

    concretefrontiers

    May 5, 2012 at 23:57

    • Wow that’s really impressive! Thanks very much. Woody’s not as well known over here in the UK as he is in the States. I was first introduced to some of his songs as a child by a TV and radio presenter called Wally Whyton who made a couple of Childrens’ LPs which included some Woody songs.

      Mark Phillips

      May 7, 2012 at 11:34

      • Thanks, I cut out the embedded sound files for the songs because I didn’t want to step on anyone’s toes copyrightwise, but you can listen to snippets on the Folkways website, nos. 301-304. I found these two Presto discs in 1999 doing research for a history dissertation at USC. We are pretty sure they date to 1939. Jeff Place from the Smithsonian has also included some unknown and unreleased Woody radio programming from the 1940s–very cool! I had a chance to glance at the book portion of the set when I gave the talk that accompanies this Prezi a few weeks ago at USC, and I have to say Jeff has done an amazing job!

        concretefrontiers

        May 7, 2012 at 14:11


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