Oklahoma Hills

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"Oklahoma Hills" is a song written by Woody Guthrie. Members of the Western Writers of America chose it as one of the Top 100 Western songs of all time. [1] In 2001, the Oklahoma Legislature declared it to be the official state folk song.

Woody Guthrie American singer-songwriter and folk musician

Woodrow Wilson Guthrie was an American singer-songwriter, one of the most significant figures in American folk music; his music, including songs, such as "This Land Is Your Land", has inspired several generations both politically and musically. He wrote hundreds of political, folk, and children's songs, along with ballads and improvised works. His album of songs about the Dust Bowl period, Dust Bowl Ballads, is included on Mojo magazine's list of 100 Records That Changed The World. Many of his recorded songs are archived in the Library of Congress. Songwriters such as Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Johnny Cash, Bruce Springsteen, Robert Hunter, Harry Chapin, John Mellencamp, Pete Seeger, Andy Irvine, Joe Strummer, Billy Bragg, Jerry Garcia, Jay Farrar, Bob Weir, Jeff Tweedy, Bob Childers, Sammy Walker, Tom Paxton, AJJ, Brian Fallon, and Sixto Rodríguez have acknowledged Guthrie as a major influence. He frequently performed with the slogan "This machine kills fascists" displayed on his guitar.

Western Writers of America

Western Writers of America, founded 1953, promotes literature, both fictional and non-fictional, pertaining to the American West. Although its founders wrote traditional western fiction, the more than six hundred current members also include historians and other non-fiction writers as well as authors from other genres.

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Jack Guthrie, Woody's cousin, changed the lyrics and music slightly and in 1945 recorded a Western swing version, which reached No. 1 on the Juke Box Folk Records charts. [2] It remains the best-known version of "Oklahoma Hills", and was the biggest hit of Jack Guthrie's fairly short life. Though Woody originated the song, the official Woody Guthrie website credits both him and Jack as its writers, perhaps because Jack's changes have become so well known.

Leon Jerry "Jack" Guthrie was a songwriter and performer whose rewritten version of the Woody Guthrie song "Oklahoma Hills" was a hit in 1945. The two musicians were cousins.

Western swing music is a subgenre of American country music that originated in the late 1920s in the West and South among the region's Western string bands. It is dance music, often with an up-tempo beat, which attracted huge crowds to dance halls and clubs in Texas, Oklahoma and California during the 1930s and 1940s until a federal war-time nightclub tax in 1944 contributed to the genre's decline.

Country singer Hank Thompson, joined by His Brazos Valley Boys, recorded a well-known version of "Oklahoma Hills" in 1961. Thompson's Western swing rendition reached No. 10 on the Billboard magazine Hot C&W Singles chart.

Woody's son, Arlo Guthrie, recorded the song for his album Running Down the Road , released in 1969 by Warner Bros. Records.

Arlo Guthrie American folk singer

Arlo Davy Guthrie is an American folk singer-songwriter. Like his father, Woody Guthrie, he is known for singing songs of protest against social injustice, and storytelling while performing songs. Guthrie's best-known work is his debut piece, "Alice's Restaurant Massacree", a satirical talking blues song about 18 minutes in length that has since become a Thanksgiving anthem. His only top-40 hit was a cover of Steve Goodman's "City of New Orleans". His song "Massachusetts" was named the official folk song of the state in which he has lived most of his adult life. Guthrie has also made several acting appearances. He is the father of four children, who have also had careers as musicians.

<i>Running Down the Road</i> 1969 studio album by Arlo Guthrie

Running Down the Road is the second studio album by American folk singer Arlo Guthrie. Guthrie's version of the traditional folk tune "Stealin'" was featured in the film Two-Lane Blacktop. The cover shows the artist upon a Triumph TR6 Trophy motorcycle which is also pictured in the album's 'gate'.

Warner Bros. Records American record label

Warner Bros. Records Inc. is an American record label owned by Warner Music Group and headquartered in Los Angeles, California. It was founded in 1958 as the recorded music division of the American film studio Warner Bros., and was one of a group of labels owned and operated by larger parent corporations for much of its existence. The sequence of companies that controlled Warner Bros. and its allied labels evolved through a convoluted series of corporate mergers and acquisitions from the early 1960s to the early 2000s. Over this period, Warner Bros. Records grew from a struggling minor player in the music industry to one of the top record labels in the world.

Chorus

Way down yonder in the Indian nation
I rode my pony on the reservation
In the Oklahoma Hills where I was born
Way down yonder in the Indian nation
A cowboy’s life is my occupation
In the Oklahoma Hills where I was born

Recordings

Recordings of "Oklahoma Hills" have been made by these singers, among others:

Chet Atkins American guitarist and record producer

Chester Burton Atkins, known as "Mr. Guitar" and "The Country Gentleman", was an American musician, occasional vocalist, songwriter, and record producer, who along with Owen Bradley and Bob Ferguson, among others, created the country music style that came to be known as the Nashville sound, which expanded country music's appeal to adult pop music fans. He was primarily known as a guitarist. He also played the mandolin, fiddle, banjo, and ukulele.

Floyd Cramer American pianist

Floyd Cramer was an American Hall of Fame pianist who was one of the architects of the Nashville sound. He was known for his "slip note" piano style, in which an out-of-key note slides into the correct note.

Gene Autry American actor and singer

Orvon Grover "Gene" Autry was an American singer, songwriter, actor, musician and rodeo performer who gained fame as a singing cowboy in a crooning style on radio, in films, and on television for more than three decades beginning in the early 1930s. Autry was the owner of a television station, several radio stations in Southern California, and the Los Angeles/California/Anaheim Angels Major League Baseball team from 1961 to 1997.

Related Research Articles

While the music of Oklahoma is relatively young, Oklahoma has been a state for just over 100 years, and it has a rich history and many fine and influential musicians.

Western music is a form of country and hillbilly music composed by and about the people who settled and worked throughout the Western United States and Western Canada. Western music celebrates the life of the cowboy on the open ranges, Rocky Mountains, and prairies of Western North America. Directly related musically to old English, Irish, Scottish, and folk ballads, also the Mexican folk music of Northern Mexico and Southwestern United States influenced the development of this genre, particularly corrido, ranchera, New Mexico and Tejano. Western music shares similar roots with Appalachian music, which developed around the same time throughout Appalachia and the Appalachian Mountains. The music industry of the mid-20th century grouped the two genres together under the banner of country and western music, later amalgamated into the modern name, country music.

Ramblin Jack Elliott American singer and guitarist

Ramblin' Jack Elliott is an American folk singer and performer.

"Red River Valley" is a folk song and cowboy music standard of uncertain origins that has gone by different names, depending on where it has been sung. It is listed as Roud Folk Song Index 756 and by Edith Fowke as FO 13. It is recognizable by its chorus :

"City of New Orleans" is a folk song written by Steve Goodman, describing a train ride from Chicago to New Orleans on the Illinois Central Railroad's City of New Orleans in bittersweet and nostalgic terms.

"Remember the Alamo" is a song written by Texan folk singer and songwriter Jane Bowers. Bowers details the last days of 180 soldiers during the Battle of the Alamo and names several famous figures who fought at the Alamo, including Mexican general Santa Anna and Texans: Jim Bowie, William Barrett Travis and Davy Crockett. It champions the Texans' efforts against Mexico to establish an independent republic.

This is a list of notable events in country music that took place in the year 1949.

This is a list of notable events in country music that took place in 1948.

Woody Guthrie Folk Festival

The Woody Guthrie Folk Festival is held annually in mid-July to commemorate the life and music of Woody Guthrie. The festival is held on the weekend closest to July 14 - the date of Guthrie's birth - in Guthrie's hometown of Okemah, Oklahoma. Daytime main stage performances are held indoors at the Brick Street Cafe and the Crystal Theatre. Evening main stage performances are held outdoors at the Pastures of Plenty. The festival is planned and implemented annually by the Woody Guthrie Coalition, a non-profit corporation, whose goal is simply to ensure Guthrie's musical legacy. The event is made possible in part from a grant from the Oklahoma Arts Council. Mary Jo Guthrie Edgmon, Woody Guthrie's younger sister, is the festival's perennial guest of honor.

Jimmy LaFave American musician

Jimmy LaFave was an American singer-songwriter and folk musician. After moving to Stillwater, Oklahoma, LaFave became a supporter of Woody Guthrie. He later became an Advisory Board member and regular performer at the annual Woody Guthrie Folk Festival.

Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion musical duo

Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion, are a musical duo. Guthrie and Irion were married on October 16, 1999 and began performing together as an acoustic duo in the fall of 2000. Their music combined Irion's love of rock and blues with Guthrie's roots of folk and country.

The Woody Guthrie Foundation, founded in 1972, is a non-profit organization which formerly served as administrator and caretaker of the Woody Guthrie Archives. Dedicated to the preservation and dissemination of information about Guthrie's vast cultural legacy, the Woody Guthrie Archives houses the largest collection of Woody Guthrie material in the world. The archives opened to the public in New York City in 1996. The archives were subsequently moved to the new Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 2013, after being acquired by the Tulsa-based George Kaiser Foundation. The Center officially opened on April 27, 2013.

Nora Guthrie American record producer

Nora Lee Guthrie is the daughter of American folk musician and singer-songwriter Woody Guthrie and his second wife Marjorie Mazia Guthrie, sister of singer-songwriter Arlo Guthrie, and granddaughter of renowned Yiddish poet Aliza Greenblatt. Nora Guthrie is president of The Woody Guthrie Foundation, president of Woody Guthrie Publications and founder of the Woody Guthrie Archive, and lives in Mt. Kisco, New York.

"Oakie Boogie" is a Western swing dance song written by Johnny Tyler in 1947. It is recognizable by its refrain:

"San Antonio Rose"/"New San Antonio Rose" was the signature song of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys. "San Antonio Rose" was an instrumental song written by Bob Wills, who first recorded it with the Playboys on November 28, 1938. Band members added lyrics and it was retitled "New San Antonio Rose". A fresh recording was made on April 16, 1940 with a vocal by Tommy Duncan.
The song opens with the refrain:

References

  1. Western Writers of America (2010). "The Top 100 Western Songs". American Cowboy. Archived from the original on 10 August 2014.
  2. Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 146.
Preceded by
"At Mail Call Today" by Gene Autry
Most Played Juke Box Folk Records
number one single by Jack Guthrie

July 28, 1945
Succeeded by
"You Two-Timed Me One Time Too Often" by Tex Ritter