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Carnegie Hall 1968 • Hollywood Bowl 1970

3-CD Set with two beautifully illustrated books containing historic liner notes and Guthrie biography, original concert reviews and photographs, attendees interviews and artists bios, and concert ephemera.

• Twenty never before released tracks
• Bonus tracks include interviews with Judy Collins, Jack Elliott, Arlo Guthrie, Country Joe McDonald, Phil Ochs, Tom Paxton, and Pete Seeger
• Rare photos and never before seen stills from the Hollywood Bowl show film masters
• Essays by Will Kaufman, Wenzel, and Sean Wilentz
• Reproduction of the original 1972 TRO Concert Book includes historic and concert photos with music notations and lyrics.

When Woody Guthrie died on October 3, 1967, after a stubborn fifteen year bout with Huntington‘s Disease, a lot of people who had known him, worked with him, or just sung his songs felt a spontaneous desire to do something.

A “Tribute to Woody Guthrie” was planned for two performances at Carnegie Hall on January 20th, 1968. The list of artists joined Woody’s own friends and peers with the next generation of songwriters and musicians just coming into their own. Appearing at the January concert were Judy Collins, Bob Dylan (in the first public appearance after his motorcycle accident in 1966 with members of The Band), Jack Elliott, Arlo Guthrie, Richie Havens, Odetta, Tom Paxton, Pete Seeger. Actors Will Geer and Robert Ryan narrated the program. Both performances were sold out an hour after tickets went on sale. Those fortunate enough to attend participated in one of the most exciting and remarkable musical experiences of all time.  

Two years later, eighteen thousand people attended the west coast Tribute which took place on September 12, 1970, at the Hollywood Bowl. Joan Baez, Jack Elliott, Arlo Guthrie, Odetta, Country Joe McDonald, Richie Havens, Earl Robinson and Pete Seeger performed. Peter Fonda joined Will Geer in narrating. The house band included members of Swampwater and Ry Cooder.

To honor Woody’s unique position as an artist, for the first time ever, two albums were issued in 1972 shared between Columbia Records and Warner Brothers Records, collating and editing tracks from both concerts. Now, exactly fifty years after Woody’s death, we invite you to hear what took place on those two iconic evenings as we present the Carnegie Hall and Hollywood Bowl concerts in their original, scripted, concert order including twenty tracks which were never included on the original LPs and are here released for the first time. Among them Joan Baez (Plane Wreck At Los Gatos – Deportee), Jack Elliott (Hard Travelin'), Arlo Guthrie (I Ain't Got No Home), Richie Havens (Blues For Woody), Country Joe McDonald (Pretty Boy Floyd), Odetta (John Hardy), Tom Paxton (Pretty Boy Floyd), Earl Robinson (Roll On Columbia), Pete Seeger (The Sinking Of The Reuben James).

Producers Nora Guthrie, Michael Kleff and Steve Rosenthal dug deep into the story behind the concerts – working with the original reel to reel concert tapes and concert scripts, business letters, and personal stories – they recreate and recount how, when and why these early tribute concerts are still important and reveal how they had such an impact on those who attended.

“To listen to the recordings now is to reflect upon events from an earlier and simpler time, which were communing with a still earlier and even simpler time. But simplicity is not the same thing as innocence. Although times have changed, in many ways for the better, not so the good and evil, bravery and cowardice, generosity and injustice that Woody and his friends and followers sang about.  What is so striking in these recordings, above and beyond the politics and musical styles, is the timelessness of what Woody was getting at in his deceptively simple art.” Historian and author Sean Wilentz from his introduction “So Long To Woody Guthrie”