Taken from the sleeve notes by ED WARD
The music on this disc may shock and surprise contemporary listeners used to a totally different kind of "folk", but it shouldn't. Cisco Houston, the best of whose work for Vanguard is presented here, was a pivotal figure in the folk movement in the US, and without him it's likely that Bob Dylan and his generation of singer-songwriters might have had far different careers.
Gilbert Vandine Houston was born in Wilmington Delaware in 1918, and came of age just in time to get socked in the jaw of the Depression. He'd learned the guitar as a teenager, and, in what seems a clich?© today, took it with him when he started hoboing. He had three things going for him: matinee-idol good looks, a fine rounded baritone, and a pretty good finger-picking technique. And like a lot of hobos he wound up on the West Coast, where he met a man who would change his life: Woodrow Wilson "Woody" Guthrie.
Whatever it was that prompted Guthrie's arrival in Los Angleles in 1938, he and his famous guitar with the sign "This machine kills fascists" soon showed up in the same place as Cisco Houston, and a lifelong partnership was formed: Houston was a great singer and player, but he wasn't a songwriter. (Of course, few mere mortals are as prolific as Woody Guthrie.) The two not only shared politics and a love of music, but an inability to stay in one place, although they didn't always travel together. But when they did meet up, Cisco eagerly learned Woody's tunes - tunes which make up a significant part of this disc.
What set Cisco Houston apart from many of the folk singers who formed the second wave was not only his age and the authority that brought with it, but his smooth voice and unshowy, but solid, guitar playing. And he also tackled hobo songs: the version of 'Big Rock Candy Mountain' heard here isn't the bowdlerised version we sang in school, but the one the hobos themselves used to sing, complete with jails, free-flowing whiskey, and cigarettes which grow on trees.
Cisco Houston's last triumphs was the epochal 1960 Newport Folk Festival, at which it could be said that the second wave of the folk revival came of age and went forward. Already stricken with cancer at the time, he performed to a crowd of, in effect, his kids. Not long afterwards, he laid down his guitar for the last time. Cisco Houston died in April 1961, back out in California, among the pastures of plenty he'd sung about so often.
- World excluding USA & Canada
- Catalogue Id:
- VCD 79574
Taken from the sleeve notes by ED WARD
- 01 Preview This Train
- 02 Preview Roll On Columbia
- 03 Preview Colorado Trail
- 04 Preview Dark As A Dungeon
- 05 Preview Hard Travelling
- 06 Preview Old Blue
- 07 Preview 900 Miles
- 08 Preview Badman Ballad
- 09 Preview Diamond Joe
- 10 Preview John Hardy
- 11 Preview Big Rock Candy Mountain
- 12 Preview So Long It's Been Good
- 13 Preview Buffalo Skinners
- 14 Preview Pastures Of Plenty
- 15 Preview The Grand Coulee Dam
- 16 Preview Hard, Ain't It Hard
- 17 Preview Pretty Boy Floyd
- 18 Preview Do Re Mi
- 19 Preview Deportees
- 20 Preview Tramp On The Street
- 21 Preview Talking Dust Bowl
- 22 Preview This Land Is Your Land
- 23 Preview Way Out There
- 24 Preview Chilly Winds
Delivery & ReturnsShow
We offer free P&P to UK addresses. For all other territories packaging is free and postage is charged on a weight basis.
We use Royal Mail First Class for UK deliveries and standard Air Mail for all other territories, very large orders will usually be sent via parcelforce. You may cancel your order at any time prior to your order being dispatched by emailing us at email@example.com ensuring that you quote your name, address and order reference number or by telephoning +44 (0) 208 453 1311 between 9am and 5pm GMT/BST, Monday to Friday. Please note: As music downloads are dispatched immediately after purchase, there is no possibility of cancelling these orders.
In the event that any products supplied to you by us are damaged or defective, we agree to replace or repair the damaged or defective products or refund the amount you paid for such goods (including postage & packaging) providing you notify us (either via post at or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ) and return the goods within 28 days of purchase. Physical goods should be sent back to us in the same condition you received them to: “Returns” Bus Stop Mail Order Ltd, 42-50 Steele Road, London, NW10 7AS. Music downloads should be returned to us via the e-mail address above including a copy of your notification.
You have the right to cancel your order within seven days of purchase, or seven days of receipt of the goods (whichever is the longer). If you choose to cancel your order, full payment will be returned to you. Returned items should be sent to: “Returns” c/o Bus Stop Mail Order Ltd, 42-50 Steele Road, London, NW10 7AS. Music downloads should be returned to us via the email address: email@example.com including a copy of your notice of cancellation and order number.