Cisco Houston Web Site

Ol' Pals

Woody on Cisco

Woody Guthrie

A letter from Woody recently appeared on e-Bay, on U.S.O. letterhead, dated June 10, 1944, written while aboard the transport vessel SS SEA PORPOISE, and offered for probably more money than Woody made in his life.

"...a big poker game is going and Cisco is fifty ahead. He is thinking of giving up the guitar and to be a slick finger gambler. Our guitars, fiddles, mandolins are fine, somewhat primed with sea water, yet they make noise. It is similar to music... Invasion Day was the best news in many years but there are even bigger days coming as we close in on Berlin... How's things with the records? I suppose you have enough on hand... check them very carefully and criticize them pretty close. Me, I think I've got some of our nation's best where Sonny [Terry] is there. Lots of musicians could do them better but they haven't yet. I feel we should do some ten and fifteen minute records to dish out to radio stations... If no dough at least it will be publicity... When albums or single records are ready for release I'll be glad to write some piece which I will leave with you... I would travel a half a day if need be to hear one of our records on a juke box. But hoping of course a feller won't have to travel so far... Hell, the last place on earth I expected our records to sell was upper New York State...How goes things with Burl [Ives?]? Have you done his album a ninth time yet? How goes the world with my chief critic Mr. Tom Glazer? I like Tom. I got off wrong that night when we argued. I was too tired to sing and didn't want to preach...We've found several good singers and guitar pickers... remember me in your dreams..."

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