Cisco on YouTube
Smithsonian/Folkways has put 3 Cisco performances on YouTube. Hear before you buy. Lot of other folks have placed LP versions on YouTube as well. Now, if only some video of Cisco could find its way there! Until then, these will have to do. Thanks to James K. Moran!
Cisco and Molly Scott
A publicity photo for the "Folk Sound, USA" show hosted by Cisco, showing him with the very young Molly Scott. There are so few photos of Cisco that every one is a treat. This show aired on June 16, 1960 and Cisco was warm, intelligent and a perfect narrator!
A Longstanding Error Remedied
Cisco often sang "I Ain't Got No Home" but now that has been remedied. Welcome to the small, but growing, Internet Home of Cisco Houston. This fine folksinger, the definitive interpreter of Woody Guthrie's massive songbook, as well as the genuine voice of the rails and plains, is an underappreciated giant. Our site offers photos, reviews, articles, essays and original writing about the life, career, and music of a great American troubadour, all in the hope of restoring an appropriate magnitude to his reputation.
The folk music magazine Sing Out devoted a significant chunk of its October/November 1961 issue to the then recently deceased Cisco. Fine articles by Lee Hays and Bill Wolff convey a bit of the spirit of this man. Check the Photo Gallery for the pictures from that issue, as well as photos from all aspects of his life.
He died way too soon, though had he lived longer it's difficult to imagine how he would have adapted to the deification of every guy who sang and played a little guitar. Cisco seems to have been a simple working man, hoping to earn a buck, get along with everyone, work for good and help a fella when he needed it. But the loss of this voice, right when folk music veered into the same self-glorification and pompousness that afflicted all the performing arts, is a shame. We can't bring him back, but we hope to do a little something to keep his music and his persona alive.
No Film Everywhere I Look!
While there are references to films Cisco made in several places, IMDB, which is about as comprehensive a source as can be imagined, does not list any performances by Gil, Gilbert, or Cisco Houston. A couple of years ago, the word came out that Jim Longhi's entertianing book was going to be filmed. We waited eagerly for news, but have now learned that it too is a no-show. If you're interested in what is not to be, click Here.
A new photo has appeared...sent to us by an overseas fan. Cisco in London in 1958. Click on it (far right) to see the full-sized version.
And regardless of how you felt about the 2008 American election, how nice to see Cisco make it to the mainstream press (well, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, however mainstream that is.) Did anyone else ever record this song? Clearly Cisco liked it, as do I. How many viewers of this cartoon could connect Hillary Clinton's comeback after the New Hampshire primary with Cisco Houston's The Cat Came Back Click on the thumbnail to see the full-sized version. May this be the harbinger of a Cisco revival! Thank you Roger Harvell (whom I have tried to contact, but with no success.)
Note: Throughout the site you will see thumbnail images. These all are links to larger versions of the same image.