Remarks
and
Introductions


Alan Lomax, The Library of Congress Interviews:
The Lost Train Blues play on a harmonica and a guitar by Woody Guthrie from Okema, Oklahoma. Woody knows what that lost train means because he’s ridden lots of red ball freights from one end of the country to another. In a few minutes we are going to begin our conversation with Woody Guthrie about life in the Southwest. About where he’s from and where he went and what happened. Woody Guthrie is, I guess, about thirty years old from the looks of him, but he’s seen more in those thirty years than most men see before their seventy. He hasn’t sat in a warm house or a warm office to see what he’s been interested in looking at; he’s gone out into the world. He’s looked at the faces of the hungry men and women. He’s live in the hobo jungles. He’s performed in the picket lines. He’s sung his way to every bar and salon between Oklahoma and California. Listen to that red ball roll

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Alan Lomax

More from Lomax’s Library of Congress interviews:
Guthrie: Here’s a pretty good one I used to hear down in that country: "Here’s to her, and to her again. If you can’t get to her, let me to her. I’m used to her."
Lomax: Well, some of them were even worse off than that, weren’t they, Woody? In the way of being a little off color, or something?
Guthrie: Yes, well they started from there and went on down.
Lomax: Where’d they go from there? What was the next stop?
Guthrie: Well, let’s hear you say one, then I’ll be remembering mine.
Lomax: I wasn’t brought up that way, Woody. You see, I didn’t grow up in the country. I grew up inside a brick house. I didn’t have that kind of experience.... I wish I had.

Burgess Meredith introducing Guthrie for the radio program called The Pursuit of Happiness:
Our next guest really has traveled. He is Woody Guthrie of Oklahoma, one of those Okies who, dispossessed from their farms, journeyed in jalopies to California. There, Woody, who always had been a great man at playing the guitar and making up songs of his own, managed to get some work performing at a small radio station. He got a lot of fan letters, one of which was from John Steinbeck, who wrote the saga of the Okies. Not long ago, he set out for New York and rode the freights to get here ... and we’ve asked him to perform one of his own compositions. We present Mr. Guthrie and ‘If you Ain’t Got the Do Re Mi.’

Ed Robbin, People’s World correspondent, inviting Guthrie to political meeting:
Robbin: You should know that this is going to be a left-wing political meeting. A lot of Communists will be there, in case you have any objects to that sort of thing.
Guthrie: "Left wing, chicken wing, it’s all the same to me.

Guthrie to Fred Hellerman, during the McCarthy era:

This [Brooklyn State Hospital] is the best place to be these days. It’s the only place in the country where I can get up on a stool and start screaming, ‘I’m a Communist. I’m a Communist,’ and no one can do a goddamn thing about it. If you do that, they’ll arrest you.”

 

 



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