G is for the Guthrie family

Arlo Guthrie was not a singles artist, but did have a modest hit with Steve Goodman’s train song, City of New Orleans.

Arlo Guthrie, and his father Woody
Woodrow Wilson Guthrie (July 14, 1912 – October 3, 1967) was an iconic American individual – songwriter, musician, political activist. He had a huge effect on Pete Seeger, whose group the Weavers, recorded So Long, It’s Been Good To Know Yuh [LISTEN to Woody’s version]. He also hosted a young Bob Dylan in his hospital room, after he had been diagnosed with the Huntington’s disease that would kill him. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988 as an early influence.

I saw a video of Michael Feinstein, who tended to Ira Gershwin’s papers the last six years of the lyricist’s life. Feinstein was asked who is missing from the discussion of Continue reading “G is for the Guthrie family”

Woody Guthrie would have been 100

The centennial of Woody Guthrie’s birth has turned out to be more significant to me than I would have thought 20 or 30 years ago.


As I have noted, my father was a singer of folk songs when I was growing up in Binghamton, NY. I did not usually know the source of the tunes that he performed, though I have subsequently have been discovered some of this information.

Back around 2002 or 2003, The Wife and I went to see Woody Guthrie’s American Song at Capital Rep Theatre, when this brace of songs, Worried Man and Ain’t Gonna Be Treated This Way came up. Both of them were in my father’s repertoire, especially the former. This was Continue reading “Woody Guthrie would have been 100”

Song: Passing Through

Pete Seeger learned ‘Passing Through’ and sang it throughout Henry Wallace’s 1948 presidential campaign.

I was listening to my favorite podcast not hosted by Arthur. It is a music podcast, which should be no surprise. The second tune in the set was a song called Passing Through. I went to the website to see to whom it was attributed as the original artist of the song, and it said Leonard Cohen. I said to myself – I often talk to myself – “There is NO WAY that song was originally done by Leonard Cohen.”

My certitude came from the fact that my late father used to sing that song when he performed in my hometown of Binghamton back in the 1960s. While I didn’t know all of the specific origins, I did know that his song selection was established in the late 1950s and early 1960s from albums by people such as Woody Guthrie, Harry Belafonte, Odetta and Pete Seeger. Cohen came into prominence as a singer/songwriter later in the 1960s.

I thought maybe it was a song Continue reading “Song: Passing Through”