Pat’s Essential Eleven Non-Traditional Murder Ballads

Introduction A few weeks back I assembled a list of my ‘essential eleven’ traditional murder ballads.  While we here at Murder Ballad Monday usually delve deeply into one ballad or theme, we saw some possible value in a lighter ‘list-based’ approach from time to time.  Judging from reader response to … → read more

Woody Guthrie House To Be Rebuilt

What once stood as a two-story, six-room house that belonged to Woody Guthrie is now just a mass of overgrown weeds and a sandstone foundation. However, this abandoned lot will not remain vacant for much longer. On Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 7:30 pm, a benefit concert is being held … → read more

VARIOUS: Woody Guthrie @ 100! Live At The Kennedy Center

        VARIOUS Woody Guthrie @ 100! Live At the Kennedy Center Legacy Recordings   Regardless of Eleanor Roosevelt’s attention to leftist music, Woodrow Wilson Guthrie (1912-67) might have been surprised to find Washington, DC’s Kennedy Center honoring the centennial of his birth last year. Here it … → read more

Woody Guthrie Tribute on PBS

Throughout the month of June, PBS stations around the country will be airing Woody Guthrie at 100! Live at the Kennedy Center. The concert was the culmination of the Woody Guthrie Foundation’s year-long centennial celebration that traveled from “California to the New York Island.” The concert took place on October … → read more

Woody at 100 – “…they tied their laws with a hang knot.”

In our centennial celebration of Woody Guthrie’s murder ballads, we’ve seen that murder and death in his songs are tools to illustrate his fundamental concept of justice.  Sometimes it’s personal, as with “The Philadelphia Lawyer” and “East Texas Red“.  More often it’s political, as with “Ludlow Massacre” and “1913 Massacre” … → read more

Woody at 100 – “Don’t pull that trigger on me!”

So far in our week-long centennial celebration of Woody Guthrie and his murder ballads, we’ve listened to the classic and amusing “Philadelphia Lawyer” and two hard hitting ballads, “Ludlow Massacre” and “1913 Massacre”, which both tell different stories of the murder of striking miners.While the tone of the former is … → read more

Woody at 100 – “See what your greed for money has done.”

We started our centennial celebration week with Woody Guthrie by listening to his “Philadelphia Lawyer”, a classic Country and Western song that he set to the tune of an older murder ballad.  But, despite (or more accurately because of) the murdered lawyer, that song was meant to be funny.  Usually … → read more

Woody at 100 – The Philadelphia Lawyer

Woody Guthrie would have been one hundred years old this Saturday, July 14, 2012.  Certainly there will be a great deal of writing, speaking, and (as no doubt Woody would have wanted it) singing to celebrate his centennial.  That’s as it should be.  Woody is beloved world-wide, and is immensely … → read more

They would lay Jesus Christ in his grave

Woody Guthrie Working Class Hero Less graphically than “On a Hill Lone and Gray,” Woody Guthrie provides his own rendering of the Jesus story.  In this one, the multitude is still implicated, but in a slightly different way; and, the Jesus depicted is decidedly human, a working man of the … → read more


In the early 1940’s, Herbert Harris, owner of NYC store called Stinson Trading Company, partnered with an entrepenuer named Moe Asch to create a record label that was known as Asch Stinson Company. In their few years of existence, they would record a number of artists who would become well … → read more