. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – CBS Radio – Back Where I Come From – August 19, 1940 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection.
In an attempt to broaden the musical tastes of mainstream America, CBS Radio in 1940 experimented with the idea of presenting Folk music, Gospel singers and Blues musicians on a coast-to-coast program.
Called Back Where I Come From, it was hosted by noted literary critic Clifton Fadiman and presented Woody Guthrie, The Golden Gate Quartet, Burl Ives, Josh White and Willie Johnson in a half-hour program with the premise of talking about current events and playing songs along those themes.
It was interesting on a lot of levels, not the least that it introduced a mainstream audience to non-mainstream music. The show was also written by Alan Lomax and future film director Nicholas Ray, who directed the program.
Needless to say, the show didn’t become a regular feature, and this was only a one-off. But it’s a historic document featuring the legendary Woody Guthrie on the radio.
So, as a holiday bonus – enjoy the next half-hour of musical history.