Legendary Cisco Houston; I Ain't Got No Home
Multiple Catalog Numbers
So good Vanguard released it twice, once in 1962 as I Ain't Got No Home, Vanguard VSD-2107 (stereo) and VRS-9107 (mono), and again 1967 as The Legendary Cisco Houston: I Ain't Got No Home, Vanguard SRV-73006. Same songs, same order, just a different cover.
In 1967, six years after Cisco's death, Vanguard issued an LP on its "Everyman Series" label, which was sold at retail a bit below the regular label's price. These performances are among the last that Cisco ever recorded. The title is "The Legendary Cisco Houston" followed by the subtitle "I Ain't Got No Home." The LP label was yellow. Catalogue Number SRV-73006, with "A" and "B" designations for each side following the number. Beneath that number, side one is designated by the code "xsv 123916" for Side One and "xsv 123917" for Side Two. The original cover is a painting of Cisco, with cigarette and guitar, on an orangish background. As far as I can determine as of July, 2003, this record has been put on CD only in a Japanese pressing, also called "I Ain't Got No Home". This item sometimes shows up on e-bay with an asking price of more than $70, and includes other Cisco songs in addition to the original contents of this disc. That CD cover is a photo of Cisco, not the painting described above.
- I Ain't Got No Home
- Waggoner's Lad
- New York Town
- Danville Girl
- Bonneville Dam
- Wreck of the '97
- My Gal
- Tom Joad
- Talking Guitar Blues
- Ramblin' Round
- Dustbowl Refugee
- Trouble in Mind
- East Texas Red
- Hobo Blues
- Streets of Laredo
- Take My Hand/Didn't It Rain
- This Land is My Land
The songwriting credits on this disc indicate that Cisco "added" words or verses to Talking Guitar Blues, East Texas Red, Hobo Blues, Streets of Laredo, Take My Hand/Didn't It Rain. Seven of the 17 songs are by Woody Guthrie.
See the notes from the back cover of "I Ain't Got No Home" Here.
This has always been my personal favorite Cisco record. Although "Songs of Woody" on Vanguard is wonderful, and "Songs of the Open Road" on Folkways is fine, this LP had a great blend of Woody songs and more traditional tunes. The recording quality was excellent (it's in stereo) and when Cisco sings "Precious Lord, Take My Hand" knowing that he was going to die of cancer only a few months later, it chokes me up. This one deserves a U.S. reissue on CD even if no tracks are added.
A great album that showcases the entire range of Cisco's talents.
The charming ne'er-do-well: Danville Girl where his voice fits the words as if he were singing extemporaneously.
The humorist: Talking Guitar Blues is a song I've loved since childhood, though it isn't really a song. "She's a game gal, she just couldn't take it. Says there's a limit to everything." That is not only poetry, it is philosphy.
The man of justice: East Texas Red where a year isn't long at all for a couple of boys to relieve the world of one bit of evil.
The poor's champion: Tom Joad Steinbeck in song; the tale of good intentions in a bad world.
The historian: Streets of Laredo a classic performed by many, but rarely as poignantly as here.
The musician: Hobo Blues great guitar, splendid vocals, a keen sense of what the tune is about.
One good song after another roll together into a sparkling LP, the contents of which indeed should have been on the Best of the Vanguard Years, for this is, in many ways, the best of all his years.