The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #581   Message #3478074
Posted By: DianeV
10-Feb-13 - 08:33 PM
Thread Name: Origins:Deportees-seeking original Woody recording
Subject: RE: Origins:Deportees-seeking original Woody recording
It's been a very long time since I posted, but there is now HUGE news! I am sharing this information and the links below with the permission of Tim Z. Hernandez, but will tell you here that Martin Hoffman's original recording of "Deportee" will soon be made public. This is a link to his blog with more information: and this is a link to information regarding the memorial headstone project:
My husband and I went full-time in our RV last June, and we are currently working for the winter season at an RV park in Yuma, Arizona. The rest of this message is a copy of what I just posted to Facebook:

This is particularly poignant for me at this time.

Here in Yuma, we see farm workers being transported back and forth across the nearby border by busses towing outhouses on trailers behind them daily. We hear the news reporters telling us of complaints about the Mexican farm workers taking jobs away from Americans followed by interviews with currently out-of-work local people who say they would never work in the fields because they have tried it and the work is too hard.

We have heard current news reports about workers in the field being doused with chemicals sprayed by crop dusters flying overhead, and seen the derisive comments of locals who don't think it matters that these human beings who are doing a job they don't want so that the crops in the field can be put on their own tables are now at risk for whatever dangers may be caused by the chemicals.

The song "Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos)" began as poem written by the great Woody Guthrie. My father's best friend, Martin Hoffman, wrote the music, and I found a copy of his first recording of it among my dad's belongings last year. I began researching it, trying to verify that it was, in fact, the original. The author of the original post here and the soon-to-be-published book found me last year through a folk-singers' forum on the internet where there was a great deal of interest in the song. It turned out that Woody Guthrie had never sung it at all, but had only read the poem in public, and Mart's recording was, indeed, the original. I had all of my dad's music converted to digital media and returned the originals, along with a document assigning any rights I might have had to Mart's family. Mart's son has graciously given Tim permission to share it with the public for this project.