From the Vault...


Jack Guthrie
"Oklahoma Hills"

© Bear Family Records

Year of Release: 1991

track listing
  • Oklahoma Hills
  • When The Cactus
    Is In Bloom
  • Next To The Soil
  • Shame On You
  • I'm Brandin' My Darlin'
    With My Heart
  • Careless Darlin'
  • Oakie Boogie
  • In The Shadows
    Of My Heart
  • For Oklahoma I'm Yearing
  • No Need To Knock
    On My Door
  • Shut That Gate
  • I'm Tellin' You
  • Chained To A Memory
  • Look Out
    For The Crossing
  • Dallas Darlin'
  • Colorado Blues
  • Welcome Home Stranger
  • I Still Love You
    As I Did Yesterday
  • Oklahoma's Calling
  • The Clouds Rained
    Trouble Down
  • Amswer To Moonlights
    And Skies
  • Please Oh Please
  • I Loved You Once But I
    Can't Trust
    You Now
  • Out Of Sight Out Of Mind
  • I'm Building A Stairway
    To Heaven
  • Ida Red
  • I Told You Once
  • San Antonio Rose
  • You Laughed And I Cried

  • WSVNRadio Archives
    A B C D E F G H I J K L M
    N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

    Jack Guthrie related sites:
    Jack Guthrie Website
    Previous Review: #1393
    Joss Stone--Introducing Joss Stone
    Next Review: #1395
    Steve Goodman--Santa Ana Winds
    Jack Guthrie
    "Oklahoma Hills"

    Country artist Jack Guthrie's claim to fame was a #1 Country hit in 1945, "Oklahoma Hills." Another interesting fact, was he was the cousin of Woody Guthrie. "Oklahoma Hills" was originally written by Woody Guthrie, and Jack rewrote some of the words. Although Woody Guthrie never claimed a #1 song in his career, Jack did. However, the name "Jack Guthrie" certainly will not be on everyone's memory, such as other popular Country artists at the time, preferably Hank Williams Sr.

    Like Williams Sr., Jack Guthrie's music is compared to Hank, even the yodeling. Another comparison is that of Webb Pierce. Germany's Bear Family Records does a fine job in showcasing 29 tracks from Guthrie's short career, 1945-1947.

    The two brothers (Woody and Guthrie) worked together in music. Woody would focus more on his music, as he would become more popular as a folk artist in the 1950/1960s. Jack was focused on his family, having a wife and one child. Jack would join the army, and this is where his popularity in music began, as his song "Oklahoma Hills" was increasingly popular. He would develop a good friendship with another Country superstar, Ernest Tubb. As Tubb included him on his tours. Although his marriage was not a joyful one, he loved his son, Jerry, and tried to be with him as often as he could. His success in Country music was in full swing by 1946. But the following year would be the beginnings of what would become his short life.

    In July, 1947, he developed tuberculosis, and towards the end, all doctors were telling Jack there was no hope, and he would die. He recorded more, but he was too sick as he made these recordings. He would later be admitted to a sanitarium, where his health declined rapidly. He passed away on January 15, 1948.

    During his brief and short career, Jack Guthrie had eight recording sessions, of which 33 songs were recorded. 8 were not released, two were issued on LP, marred by a drum overdub. The remaining 6 are available on this compilation.

    In summary, his short popularity in Country music is easily compared to the many (and would be more popular than Jack) artists: Hank Sr, Ernest Tubb, Lefty Frizzell, Webb Pierce (the very early years of Country Music). Called it Country or Hillbilly, Guthrie's roots in music was obvious; he was related to one of the most popular Folk music artists, his cousin Woody Guthrie. We can only imagine if Jack's career would have continued onward, and become as popular as Hank Sr. and the likes. Jack Guthrie's life was cut short by tuberculosis, and back then, alot of medical remedies were far and unheard of, like it is today.

    Yet for those who remember his music back then, and for those discovering it for the first time, it is Country music at it's early years finest. As described on the back of the insert booklet of the Oklahoma Hills CD, it says it all: "Many a month has come and gone, Since I wandered from from my home, In those Oklahmoma hills where I was born. Many a page of life has turned. Many a lesson I have learned, While I feel like in those hills I still belong." These lines are from the pen... and heart... of Jack Guthrie. They are from his own composition, "Oklahoma Hills" ... Jack's first recording... a national favorite of the very moment he was serving with our Armed Forces in the storming of Okinawa. When Jck returned from the war, he found himself hailed as one of America's favorite folk artists. Deserverdly so. These six inspired recordings tell you why: "Oklahoma Hills," "When The Cactus Is In Bloom," "Chained To A Memory," "This Troubled Mind Of Mine," "Oakie Boogie," "Oklahoma's Calling." This album is a spledid tribute to the life and work of a fine man and a great artist... Jack Guthrie.

    Good mention, he made Oklahoma (his childhood home state) proud.

    © All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Bear Family Records and is used for reference purposes only.

    Previous Review: #1393
    Joss Stone--Introducing Joss Stone
    Next Review: #1395
    Steve Goodman--Santa Ana Winds