Woody Guthrie - When Network Radio introduced Folk.
Woody Guthrie – When Network Radio introduced Folk.

– 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.

Enjoy the next half-hour of musical history.

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