Cover Tuesday, Pt. 32

I’m gonna take a break from writing this week, handing the reigns over to Guy Logsdon and Jeff Place, who wrote the liner notes to the four-disc Asch Recordings (Buy It) by Woody Guthrie, one of the greatest musical figures that ever lived. (I don’t actually know Logsdon and Place; these are just quotes from the liner notes. There is no actual “handing the reigns over”).

Woody Guthrie – Snow Deer (John Mahoney/Percy Wenrich cover)

…A “cowboy lover” steals an Indian maiden away from her people, and they race away with bullets flying to safety at the ranch house. It became a favorite among fiddle players as an instrumental, and can still be heard among old-time fiddlers. Woody’s version is unusual in that he sings it…

Woody Guthrie – Billy the Kid (Rev. Andrew Jenkins cover)

…Woody believed this song to be a folk song, and as early as 1940 used an adaptation of the melody for “So Long, It’s Been Good To Know You”… William H. Bonney, known as Billy the Kid, became a popular outlaw figure in western lore… Hollywood and television writers have produced numerous shows about him and the New Mexico problems, of which most, if not all, are totally romanticized…

Woody Guthrie – Stepstone (J.O. Webster cover)

…This nineteenth-century sentimental parlor song, written in J.O. Webster, may have appealed to Woody’s sentimental side, for there is a sadness in his voice as he sings… This may have been one of the songs his mother played on the piano…

Woody Guthrie – Hobo’s Lullaby (Goebel Reeves cover)

…This song has been reported to be Woody’s favorite song; it was recorded by its composer, Goebel Reeves, 13 August 1934, in San Fransisco … He [re]recorded it in Chicago; when or where Woody learned it is not known, but he included it in his unpublished manuscript “Woody & Lefty Lou’s One Thousand and One Laffs and Your Free Gift of One Hundred and One Songs,” … Woody wrote: A hobo’s life moves swiftly, broadly, talking and moving in terms of states, countries, seasons; instead of the narrow, suffocating, life of City Living so hemmed in on every side… Friendless, and alone he dwells among us, drifting like a tumbleweed across the earth… seeking a freedom that you have only dimly felt at times…

Anybody else wanna give up on NYC and go bumming across the country after reading that? Yeah, me too. Happy Tuesday gang.

posted by Adam


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