has WON the 2008 GRAMMY for Best Historical Album!

THE LIVE WIRE: Woody Guthrie in Performance 1949
Release Date: September 6, 2007

Press Contact - Anna Canoni
T: (914) 241-3844 . E: info@woodylivewire.com


For the first time, fans and music lovers everywhere will be able to listen to a live concert recording of Woody Guthrie when the Woody Guthrie Foundation, under license to Woody Guthrie Publications Inc, releases the never-before-heard Guthrie concert which took place in December, 1949 at the YM-YWHA's Fuld Hall in Newark, New Jersey.

With the help of many talented recording engineers, the Foundation painstakingly transferred this rare live performance from a delicate wire recording to digital audio, and, with state-of-the-art technology, restored it to near-perfection. Now, as part of its mission to preserve and perpetuate the legacy of Woody Guthrie, Woody Guthrie Publications, Inc. in cooperation with the Woody Guthrie Foundation will release THE LIVE WIRE: Woody Guthrie in Performance 1949, accompanied by a 72-page book illuminating the performance and the project, on Thursday, September 6th, 2007.


In 2001, Paul Braverman sent a small package containing 2 spools of wire recordings to the Woody Guthrie Archives in New York City. He had discovered them while cleaning out his closet. He had made the recordings himself while a student at Rutgers University, using a small wire recorder which was briefly used in the late 1940's. He was a recording hobbyist and often recorded events and programs held by the Y in the late 40's and early 50's.

Nora Guthrie, President of the Woody Guthrie Foundation and Woody's daughter, and Jorge Arevalo Mateus, Curator of the Woody Guthrie Archives, first had the opportunity to hear the wires in 2002 at Art Shifrin's home studio in Queens, NY. Art had hand-built the only known wire recording transfer device available. At this point, they had no idea what was on the wire, but were absolutely thrilled to discover that the recordings contained a never before heard, complete live performance given by Woody Guthrie. His wife, Marjorie Mazia, was the dance teacher at the Y, and at this event she acted as moderator for the program. The evening was a cultural event meant to introduce Woody Guthrie's songs to this small group of adults and children. As Mr. Braverman recalled, "there were about 25 people in the audience."

In 2003, the Foundation decided to produce the recording for public release, and worked with Airshow Mastering to clean and edit the recording. However, by 2006, many technological advances had been made in audio restoration. Jamie Howarth at Plangent Processes, along with Steve Rosenthal at the Magic Shop NYC were brought in to continue and refine the difficult task of creating the cleanest and best sounding recording possible. The result of these many years of researching and developing audio restoration is what you now hear on THE LIVE WIRE: Woody Guthrie in Performance 1949.


The recording consists of 18 tracks of songs, stories and conversation. Packaged in a 72-page, handsomely designed book, it includes rare and newly discovered photographs of Woody and Marjorie, insightful contributions by Nora Guthrie, historical text on the performance and songs by Jorge Arevalo Mateus and technical notes on the audio restoration process by the participating engineers: Art Shifrin, Jamie Howarth at Plangent Processes, and two-time Grammy Award winner Steve Rosenthal at the Magic Shop NYC. Grammy Award winning designer Susan Archie created the unique CD and book design, which also includes original lyrics from the Archives, adding additional visual documentation. Due to the large amount of dialogue, a transcript of the performance is included on the CD, allowing listeners to read along.

Not only will you be able to hear Woody perform, but you will also be able to learn about the history of the recording, the event, and the technology necessary to bring this project to fruition.


1. *Intro: How much? How long? ( 15:02 )

2. Black Diamond ( 4:51 )

3. *I was there and the dust was there ( 6:56 )

4. The Great Dust Storm ( 3:35 )

5. *Folk singers and dancers ( 5:28 )

6. Talking Dust Bowl Blues ( 2:16 )

7. Tom Joad ( 6:17 )

8. *Columbia River ( 1:47 )

9. Pastures of Plenty ( 2:39 )

10. Grand Coulee Dam ( 3:33 )

11. *Told by Mother Bloor ( 1:42 )

12. 1913 Massacre ( 4:32 )

13. *Quit sending your inspectors ( 2:33 )

14. Goodbye Centralia ( 3:11 )

15. *A cowboy of some kind ( 1:20 )

16. Dead or Alive ( 3:42 )

17. *Jesus Christ has come! ( 1:35 )

18. Jesus Christ ( 3:46 )

* All italicized tracks are spoken word.
Total Running Time 74:54
All songs written by Woody Guthrie.
(c) (p) 2007 by the Woody Guthrie Foundation.
Under license to Woody Guthrie Publications, Inc.


Executive Producer : Nora Guthrie
Producers : Nora Guthrie and Jorge Arevalo Mateus
Book text and historical notes : Jorge Arevalo Mateus, Curator/Woody Guthrie Archives
Additional notes : Nora Guthrie, Director/Woody Guthrie Archives

Wire transfer : Art Shifrin
Wire transfer assistant engineer : Brian Thorn/Magic Shop NYC
Digital restoration : Jamie Howarth and Dr. Kevin Short/Plangent Processes
Sound restoration & mastering producer : Steve Rosenthal/Magic Shop NYC
Cedar restoration and mastering engineer : Warren Russell-Smith/ Magic Shop NYC

Package and CD design : Susan Archie/World of Anarchie
Performance transcription : Hillel Arnold, Assistant Archivist/Woody Guthrie Archives
Publicity and promotion : Anna Canoni/Woody Guthrie Publications, Inc.
Permissions and Licensing : Michael Smith/Woody Guthrie Publications, Inc.
CD manufactured by : Solo Media
Book and CD cover manufactured by : Imperial Paper Box Corporation, Parkside Printing Co.
Proofreader : Ed Grant
Original wire recordings: Donated to the Woody Guthrie Archives by Paul Braverman


This site is maintained by: Woody Guthrie Publications, Inc. | 125-131 E. Main Street, Suite #201 | Mt. Kisco, NY 10549 | T: (914) 241-3844

~ Copyright 2001-2013, Woody Guthrie Publications, Inc. Privacy Policy | Site design by Anna Canoni. ~