Woody Guthrie and Will Geer, Bound For Glory: The Songs and Story of Woody Guthrie

Peter Blackstock

By Peter Blackstock

on 07.06.11 in Reviews
Woody’s most prominent songs with spoken-word introductions

Released in 1956, this audio-biography-styled record combined recordings of a handful of Woody Guthrie’s most prominent songs with spoken-word introductions from Will Geer (known for his role as Grandpa in “The Waltons” and a longtime Guthrie friend). The intros are recitations of Guthrie’s own words; Geer’s skill as an actor helps color them with character, and you can feel Woody’s personality springing to life throughout the album. The essence of his rambling spirit is perhaps best summed up by the introduction to “Grand Coulee Dam”: “I’m one walker that stood way up and looked way down across to plenty of pretty sights in all their veiled and nakedest seasons,” Geer reads. “Thumbin’ it, hitchin’ it, walkin’ and talkin’ it, chalkin’ it, markin’ it, sightin’ it and hearing it, seein’ and feelin’ and breathin’ and smellin’ it in. Suckin’ it down me, rubbin’ it into all the pores of my skin, and the wind between my eyes knockin’ honey in my comb.”