“WOODY GUTHERIE: ALL STAR TRIBUTE CONCERT 1970”— A Historic Concert

 “Woody Guthrie: All-Star Tribute Concert 1970”

A Historic Concert

Amos Lassen

I love folk music and even though we do not hear it much anymore, I still try to find it when I can. You can imagine how glad I was to find this wonderful DVD of the Tribute Concert to Woody Guthrie with many of my favorite folkies. It had never been released before and features Arlo Guthrie, Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, Odetta, Country Joe McDonald, Richie Havens, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott and others.

The Woody Guthrie All-Star Tribute Concert took place at the Hollywood Bowl and it is a celebration of the work of Woody Guthrie, America’s legendary folk singer and songwriter. The concert also features narration by actors Peter Fonda and Will Geer and was produced by 4-Time Emmy Award Winner Jim Brown. This star-studded event was a fundraiser for the California Chapter of The Committee to Combat Huntington’s Disease (now known as the Hereditary Disease Foundation), as Woody died of Huntington’s disease in 1967.

Extras include 3 never-before-seen songs performed by Joan Baez, Odetta and Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, as well as concert rehearsal footage and audio interviews with Arlo Guthrie and Ramblin’ Jack Elliott.

1. Arlo Guthrie; Joan Baez; Odetta; Pete Seeger; Country Joe Mcdonald; Richie Havens; Ramblin’ Jack Elliott; Earl Robinson; And Band – This Train Is Bound For Glory
2. Arlo Guthrie – Oklahoma Hills
3. Country Joe Mcdonald – Pretty Boy Floyd
4. Joan Baez; Pete Seeger – So Long, It’s Been Good To Know Yuh
5. Country Joe Mcdonald, Arlo Guthrie, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, Pete Seeger – Goin’ Down The Road Feeling Bad
6. Pete Seeger; Arlo Guthrie – I Ain’t Got No Home
7. Arlo Guthrie – Do Re Mi
8. Joan Baez – Plane Wreck At Los Gatos (Deportee)
9. Odetta – Ramblin’ Round
10. Pete Seeger; Earl Robinson – Roll On Columbia
11. Richie Havens – Nine Hundred Miles
12. Country Joe Mcdonald – Woman At Home
13. Pete Seeger – The Sinking Of The Reuben James
14. Arlo Guthrie; Joan Baez; Odetta; Pete Seeger; Country Joe Mcdonald; Richie Havens; Ramblin’ Jack Elliott; Earl Robinson; And Band – I’ve Got To Know
15. Arlo Guthrie; Joan Baez; Odetta; Pete Seeger; Country Joe Mcdonald; Richie Havens; Ramblin’ Jack Elliott; Earl Robinson; And Band – This Land Is Your Land
16. Arlo Guthrie; Joan Baez; Odetta; Pete Seeger; Country Joe Mcdonald; Richie Havens; Ramblin’ Jack Elliott; Earl Robinson; And Band – This Train Is Bound For Glory
17. Ramblin’ Jack Elliott – 1913 Massacre
18. Odetta – John Hardy
19. Joan Baez – Pastures Of Plenty

It’s been almost 50 years since this concert but it is just as fresh as if it was yesterdays. Sure the performers look different but I’ve been a folkie for a long time and will remain that way. We don’t get to see the whole concert –or hear the full readings of “Woody’s words” as read by actors Fonda and Geer, – but the 51-minute running time (plus those bonuses by Odetta, Baez and Elliott) is filled with great songs. Often when one performer is doing a song, another will unexpectedly join in.

Pete Seeger would be 100 years-old this year and to see him back then just opened memories for me. The video is crisp and the sound is excellent. The DVD is also “region free” so it can be played everywhere in the world. There is also a “social purpose” to this release. Sales will benefit the Hereditary Disease Foundation, whose mission is: “to fund innovative research towards curing Huntingdon’s disease and impacting other brain disorders”. (It is also great fun seeing Joan Baez looking like a high schooler).

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