Little Sadie – Old Time, Bluegrass, and Beyond

Clarence "Tom" Ashley - ca. early 1960's

Note: This is Part 3 of a three part series on “Little Sadie” – See also Part 1 and Part 2 Introduction I went out one night for to make a little round I met Little Sadie and I shot her down Went back home, got into bed Forty-four smokeless … → read more

WOODY GUTHRIE: American Radical Patriot

          WOODY GUTHRIE American Radical Patriot Rounder   Woodrow Wilson “Woody” Guthrie, probably the most prominent single figure in American folk music, was born on Bastille Day, 1912, and before his early death in 1967 managed to amass a legacy of over a thousand songs … → read more

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