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Lyr Req: Columbia River Collection (Woody Guthrie)

24 Apr 03 - 04:12 PM (#939447)
Subject: Lyr Req: Columbia River Collection Lyrics
From: GUEST,

Hi There,
Just wondering if anyone has a set of lyrics to some or all of the songs on Woody's Columbia River record. The book is out of print, and I was just wondering. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

24 Apr 03 - 04:23 PM (#939456)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Columbia River Collection Lyrics
From: MMario

six of the ten are either in the digital tradition or posted in this forum

25 Apr 03 - 12:36 AM (#939715)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Columbia River Collection Lyrics
From: Joe Offer

Hmmm. The Library of Congress says Woody wrote 26 songs in 30 days on that government contract. Seems like these songs should belong to the American people, and that they should be available online. This page (click) has a nice collection of Woody lyrics, many no doubt taken from the Digital Tradition. This page (click) has short clips for 17 songs from the Columbia River Collection CD, but I don't know if Woody wrote all those songs for the Bonneville Power Administration. This page (click) is one of my favorite Woody pages, with lots of lyrics.
I'd like to see a full list of the songs Woody wrote for the Columbia River Collection. Sing Out charges $20 for a 26-song songbook and a CD of the 17 Columbia River Songs Woody recorded. I may have to break down and get that one.
-Joe Offer-

25 Apr 03 - 04:45 AM (#939775)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Columbia River Collection Lyrics
From: Deckman

Joe, I can give you clue that might prove interesting. Some years ago, perhaps 8 or 10, a fellow surfaced that seemed to have a strong interest in Woody's BPA songs. He not only was a very good singer and guitarist, but of all things, he worked for the BPA. My dim memory tells me that the BPA allowed him time/money to research those songs, and I believe he was producing a record of all of Woody's songs. I'm in the throes of "silly season" in deck building, so I don't have time to help you research this more. You might contact the BPA and see what you can find. CHEERS and thanks for the postings ... Bob Nelson

25 Apr 03 - 11:32 AM (#939982)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Columbia River Collection Lyrics
From: Joe Offer

Here's a press release from BPA:
Bonneville Power Administration
PR 41 01
CONTACTS: Mike Hansen, BPA (503) 230-5131

PORTLAND, Ore. – Sixty years ago this month, folksinger and songwriter Woody Guthrie wrote 26 songs for the Bonneville Power Administration. The BPA hired Guthrie for one month to produce music it would use in a film, "The Columbia."

On May 24, BPA will honor Guthrie's memory at a 60th anniversary tribute at its Portland headquarters. Acting Administrator Steve Wright will unveil a landscape tribute, and the agency will name its entrance "The Woody Guthrie Circle."

The program begins at 12:45 p.m. at BPA's main entrance off NE 11th Avenue across the Max tracks from the Lloyd Center DoubleTree Hotel. A folk song group, The Wanderers, will play some of Guthrie's music. At 1 p.m., Vice President Terry Esvelt will introduce guests. Wright will follow with remarks about Guthrie and then unveil a landscape tribute.

Back in 1941, Guthrie traveled across Oregon and Washington during his one month on the BPA payroll. He visited farms, towns, Native American locales and the construction site of Grand Coulee Dam. He penned songs and plucked tunes on his guitar about the plight of the people, the land and the times. He sang about what he had seen and heard, as he did throughout most of his travels and a musical career that spanned the continent and nearly three decades.

Although World War II delayed the film production, when "The Columbia" came out in 1949, it had three Guthrie songs – "Roll on Columbia," "Pastures of Plenty" and "Grand Coulee Dam." Other Columbia songs enjoyed national popularity for some time. Later Guthrie tunes were highly popular and became part of American tradition – "This Land is Your Land," "Hard Travelin" and "So Long, It's Been Good To Know Ya."

In 1987, the Washington legislature designated "Roll on Columbia" as the official state folk song.

BPA had previously named one of its early substations in honor of Guthrie. It was sold along with dozens of other small substations the agency has been turning over to the utilities it serves.

25 Apr 03 - 11:42 AM (#939989)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Columbia River Collection Lyrics
From: Parsa

You can also get the books and CD from the Woody Guthrie Foundation and Archives:
Woody Guthrie Store Catalog

Together, they're $30, so if you want both, the SingOut! price is better. I just bought the book last night, as I was asking for Roll Columbia, Roll in another thread. If you live in the Pacific Northwest and are a folk singer, I think it's obligatory to know these. ;)
I was trying to write the lyrics out, and said to myself, "this HAS to be somewhere in a book or online." So I did another search and found the book still for sale in a few places. It's out of stock at Amazon.


21 Aug 20 - 05:29 AM (#4069033)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Columbia River Collection (Woody Guthrie)
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch

Tried searching for this but came up a blank(?) Apologies to the elves if I've missed it. Seven pages of backstory here:

Woody Guthrie Lost Bonneville Power Recordings Preservation
[member: Vinyl Archaeologist, Jul 20, 2017]

Woody Guthrie Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) recordings
Woody Guthrie songs, performed by Guthrie with guitar and harmonica. Twenty-six new songs were written by Guthrie on a one-month contract for the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) in May 1941, and were recorded during 1941 or later in Portland, Oregon. These are likely the originals or near copies of the 1941 studio recordings Guthrie made at the BPA Headquarters in Portland, Oregon. Some are first-generation discs, others are second-generation or other copies; songs include alternate takes and outtakes. Three of Guthrie's songs were included in the 1948 film "The Columbia."

AFC 2018/003 SR01 Side A "Ballad of the Grand Coulee Dam" [Grand Coulee Dam] (2456813-2-1); Side B "Roll on Columbia, Roll on" [Roll On Columbia] (2456813-2-2)
AFC 2018/003 SR02 Side A "Columbia Talking Blues" [Talkin' Columbia] (2456814-2-1); Side B "Song of the Grand Coulee Dam" (2456814-2-2)
AFC 2018/003 SR03 Side A "Jackhammer Blues" (2456815-2-1); Side B blank
AFC 2018/003 SR04 Side A "Pastures of Plenty" (2456816-2-1); Side B "Roll Columbia, Won't You Roll" [Roll Columbia, Roll] (2456816-2-2)
AFC 2018/003 SR05 Side A "Columbia Talking Blues" [Talking Columbia] (2456817-2-1); Side B "Good morning Mr. Captain" [Columbia's Waters] (2456817-2-2)
AFC 2018/003 SR06 Side A "Jackhammer Blues" (2456818-2-1); Side B "Way Up In That Northwest" [Song of the Grand Coulee Dam] (2456818-2-2)
AFC 2018/003 SR07 Side A "Pastures of Plenty" (2456819-2-1); Side B "Grand Coulee Dam" [outtake] (2456819-2-2)
AFC 2018/003 SR08 Side A "Roll, Columbia, Won't You Roll" [Roll Columbia, Roll] (2456820-2-1); Side B "Roll On, Columbia, Roll On" [Roll On, Columbia] (2456820-2-2)
AFC 2018/003 SR09 Side A "Grand Coulee Dam" (2456821-2-1) 80 RPM; Side B 1. "The World Has Several Wonders" [Grand Coulee Dam outtake] (2456821-2-2) 80 RPM; 2. unknown narration #1 (2456821-2-2) 33.33 RPM; 3. unknown narration #2 (2456821-2-2) 33.33 RPM; 4. unknown narration #3 (2456821-2-2) 33.33 RPM; [Each narration cut is a different voice, none of them Woody Guthrie, all reading from the same script. Possibly related to the film for which the Guthrie songs were written - engineer's notes]
AFC 2018/003 SR10 Side A "The Biggest Thing Man Has Ever Done" (2456822-2-1); Side B "Roll On Columbia (2456822-2-2)
AFC 2018/003 SR11 Side A "Pastures of Plenty" (2456823-2-1); Side B "Roll Columbia, Roll" (2456823-2-2).