Jack Guthrie - His Greatest Songs
In this week's episode, we're remembering a name that is too often left out of conversations about western swing: Jack Guthrie. Our feature album this week is Capitol's 1966 retrospective: "Jack Guthrie - His Greatest Songs", featuring twelve dynamite western swingers from his extremely short recording career (1944-1947). Born in Oklahoma in 1915 and a cousin to the famous Woody Guthrie, Jack's family moved around - the age of nineteen found him married on the West Coast, singing and entertaining in cafes and bars while pursuing a rodeo dream. After hearing Guthrie's easy-going hillbilly tenor, Capitol's Lee Gillette signed him to a recording deal in 1944, and the likeable Okie recorded his first and biggest hit "Oklahoma Hills" shortly after. Uncle Sam saw him whisked overseas before he could enjoy his new found national fame, but between then and his untimely passing from tuberculosis in 1947, he cut some sensational sides. With overdubbed honky tonk brushes a la Hank Thompson of the same era, Capitol have an excellent look at a career cut short - and as if Jack Guthrie needed anymore credibility, the original LP has some extremely candid liner notes written by his personal friend: the iconic Merle Travis. Turn it up.