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Woody Guthrie’s Personal Record Collection

Collection Processed by: Jorge Arévalo Mateus, PhD

Collection Guide Prepared by: Original finding aid was prepared by Jorge’ Arevalo Mateus, PhD; updated by Hillel Arnold, December 2008; updated by Kate L. Blalack, July 2014.

Date Range:

1943-1949

Extent:

3.5 linear feet ( 6 boxes)

Provenance:

Marjorie Guthrie & offices of Harold Leventhal

Scope and Content:

Woody Guthrie’s Personal Record Collection consists of 30 albums (50 disks) personally owned by Guthrie, as well as Albums released by Guthrie, and represents an important component to the Archives. Guthrie himself annotated many of the record jackets, noting how he acquired the record, the date he received the album, and his thoughts on either the artist or the lyrics. In addition, many of Guthrie’s albums are adorned with his original artwork – doodles and drawings covering the liner notes of some of the record jackets.

Of particular note in this Collection is Guthrie’s copy of Lead Belly’s Musiccraft Corporation undated album entitled “Negro Sinful Songs sung by Lead Belly” (acc. #2008-110). This 4-disc album contains a love letter which Guthrie wrote to ‘Mama and Cathy’ on November 18 th, 1943. In this letter he discusses the different houses he has lived in with Marjorie (‘Mama’) and the way in which the music they played in each house changed the way it felt; proclaiming his love for ‘3520’, the home they shared on Mermaid Avenue. Guthrie ends his letter with the comments “gosh! What are folks gonna think when they look here and see such a long inscription? Well, we don’t care. At least I don’t. In a very few days I guess I’ll be shipping out again for my second time. I just want you to know that I love you – tonight. Woody.”

In addition, Guthrie’s copy of Asch Records’ “American Folksay Ballads and Dances” (acc. #2008-100), dates January 16 th , 1945, is noteworthy in that it contains extensive notes by Guthrie describing the evolution of his thoughts on the album, gained through listening to the record several times. At one point, Guthrie notes “I felt ashamed because I helped to make it. I wanted to melt the wax up and pour it back to the factory and my hands ached to grab all of the records off the market and toss them back to their moulds. It sounded so bad I wanted to just get up and run away somewhere and never come back.” However, Guthrie has a change of heart, likening the album to a “wild and fiery and rough and tumble” kid, which he appreciates more than the smooth and quiet kids. Following his introduction is a detailed description of the songs that he considers to be his favorites.

Language:

Materials Entirely in English

Access restrictions:

Many of the disks are extremely fragile and/or broken; these disks may not be played.

Access note:

The research value of these disks is in the personal art and annotations that Guthrie wrote on jackets and covers of the albums.

Use restrictions:

All materials are subject to copyright.

Arrangement:

Materials arranged numerically by accession number.

Related Materials:

Woody Guthrie Center’s Collection Guides

The Woody Guthrie Papers – Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage

Woody Guthrie Manuscript Collection, 1935-1950

Container Lists:

Box 1 – A# 2008-96

Artist: Cornelius Greenway’s Smokey Mountaineers
Album: “America’s Favorite Songs” Vol. 2
Artwork by: David Stone Martin
Notes: Watercolor annotation by Woody Guthrie May 4th 1948.
Contains 3 discs.
10 inch.
Box 1-A# 2008-97
Artist: Various
Album: “Smoky Mountain Ballads”
Notes: Annotated by Woody Guthrie April 12, 1944.
Contains 4 discs
10 inch.
Box 1-A# 2008-99
Artist: Roy Acuff and his Smoky Mountain Boys
Album: Selections From Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “State Fair”
A twentieth century-fox Technicolor picture, directed by Walter Lang,
Produced by William Perlberg.
Notes: Annotated by Woody Guthrie.
Contains 3 discs.
10 inch.
Box 3-A# 2008-100
Artist: American Folksay Ballads and Dances
Album: 900 Miles
Asch Recordings
Artwork by : David Stone Martin
Notes: Annotated by Woody Guthrie (thoughts on the album)
No Records inside.
10 inch.
Box 1-A# 2008-101
 Artist: Burl Ives
Album: “The Waterfaring Stranger”
Edited by Alan Lomax. Asch Recordings.
Notes: Annotated by Burl in 1939.
Annotated by Woody Guthrie 1944.
Contains 2 discs.
10 inch.
Box 1-A# 2008-102
Artist: Woody Guthrie
Album: Documentary #1 STRUGGLE
Asch Records.
Notes: Annotated by Woody Guthrie 1948.
Pamphlet included.
Contains 2 discs.
Very Fragile.
10 inch.
Box 2-A# 2008-103
Artist: Woody Guthrie
Album: Documentary #1 STRUGGLE
Asch Records.
Notes: Annotated by Woody Guthrie 1948.
Pamphlet included.
Contains 2 discs.
Very Fragile.
10 inch.
Box 1-A# 2008-104
Artist: Carlos Montoya, Soledad Miralles
Album: Flamenco Disc
Artwork by: Davd Stone Martin
Notes: Annotation by Woody Guthrie
Contains 3 discs.
10 inch.
Box 1-A# 2008-105
Artist: Various
Album: “America’s Favorite Songs” (Vol. 1) Disc 607
Artwork by : David Stone Martin
Various Artists
Notes: Annotation by Woody Guthrie 7-22-46.
See Also Acc. 2008-96 (Vol. 2)
Contains 3 discs.
10 inch.
Box 1-A# 2008-106
 
Music: Bernie Weissman
Narration; David Niles
Album; “In The Beginning” A Delightful Retelling For Young Listeners of Old Testament
Stories by Sholem Asch. Recording by Moses Asch
Artwork by: Eleanor Klemm
Notes: Annotation and Drawings by Woody Guthrie.
Contains 3 discs.
10 inch.
Box 3- A# 2008-107

Artist: Jack Guthrie
Album: “Memorial Album” (Oklahoma Hills)
All Songs Jack Guthrie
Notes: Contains 3 discs.
10 inch.
Box 3- A# 2008-108
 
Artist: Cisco Huston
Album: “Cowboy Songs”
Album Notes by Woody Guthrie.
Notes: Annotation by Woody Guthrie May 10, 1949.
Watercolor annotation and painting.
Contains 3 discs.
10 inch.
Box 1-A# 2008-109
Artist: Woody Guthrie
Album: “Songs To Grow Old On” Work Songs for Nursery Days
Disc Young Folksay Series Album 602
Cover by: Thelma Martin
Notes: Contains 3 discs.
One Pamphlet.
10 inch.
Box 3-A# 2008-110
Artist: Lead Belly
Album: “Negro Sinful Songs”
Notes: Annotation by Woody Guthrie Nov. 18 1943
Contains 4 discs.
10 inch.
Box 3- A# 2008-111
Artist: The Almanac Singers
Album: “Talking Union”
Keynote Recordings Album 106
Notes: Contains 3 discs.
10 inch.
Box 4-A# 2008-112
Artist: Woody Guthrie
Album: “Talking Dust Bowl” (Dust Bowl Ballads)
Folkways Records.
Notes: No Case
10 Inch.
Box 4-A# 2008-113
Artist: Jack Guthrie
Album: Jack Guthrie and his Oklahomans
Notes: No Jacket
10 inch.
Box 4- A# 2008-114
Artist: Jack Guthrie
Album: Jack Guthrie and his Oklahomans
Notes: No Case.
Side A. Whitley, Leeds, Hayes
Side B. Billy Hughes, Texas Jim Lewis
10 inch.
Box 4- A# 2008-115
Artist: Woody Guthrie
Woody Guthrie singing “Pretty Boy Floyd”
Original Acetate from 1940’s
Notes: No Case
Recorded at Cue Studios
10 inch.
Box 2- A# 2008-116
Artist: Woody Guthrie
Album: “Songs to Grow on for Mother and Child”
Folkways Records
Notes: Sealed Album.
Cover Design by Ronald Clyne / Photograph by David Gahr.
Red with Yellow Type (duotone photo)
Box 4- A# 2008-117
 Artist: Woody Guthrie
Album: “Songs to Grow on for Mother and Child”
Folkways Records
Notes: Sealed Album.
Cover Design by Ronald Clyne / Photograph by David Gahr.
Orange with Black Type (b/w photo) 10 inch.
Box 4- A# 2008-118
Artist: Woody Guthrie
Album: “Songs to Grow On”
Folkways Records
Introduction by Beatrice Landeck.
Volume One: Nursery Days
Notes: One Pamphlet
Orange Copy
10 inch.
Box – A# 2008-119
Artist: Woody Guthrie
Album: “Songs to Grow On”
Folkways Records
Introduction by Beatrice Landeck.
Volume One: Nursery Days
Notes: Green Copy
10 inch.
Box 4- A# 2008-120
Artist: Woody Guthrie
Album: “This Land is My Land”
American Work Songs (Songs to Grow On Volume 3)
Folkways Records
Notes: Colors have slight color alternatives
10 inch.
Box 4- A# 2008-121
Artist: Jack Elliot
Album: “Woody Guthrie’s Blues”
Topic Records
Notes: No Records
10 inch.
A# 2008-122
Artist: Woody Guthrie
Album: “Songs for Slides”
Cue Recordings
Notes: No Case
33 Microgroove
10 inch.
A# 2008-123
Artist: The Carter Family
Little Darling, Will You Miss Me? East Va. Blues, Cumbland Mountain Deer Race.
Notes: Four Albums
Extensive annotation in watercolor
10 inch.
A# 2008-124
Artist: Woody Guthrie
Album: “Songs to Grow on for Mother and Child”
Volume 0.
Notes: 10 inch.
A# 2008-129
Artist: Sonny Terry
Album: “Harmonica and Vocal Solos”
Folkway Records
Notes: 10 inch.
A# 2008-130
Artist: Woody Guthrie
Album: “900 Miles” (single?)
Guitar Solo 1945
Notes: No Case, Broken.
10 inch.