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Jack Guthrie

jack guthrie obituary, jack guthrie
Leon Jerry "Jack" Guthrie November 13, 1915 – January 15, 1948 was a songwriter and performer whose rewritten version of the Woody Guthrie song "Oklahoma Hills" was a hit in 19451 The two musicians were cousins2


  • 1 Early life
  • 2 Career in music
  • 3 See also
  • 4 References
  • 5 Bibliography
  • 6 External links

Early lifeedit

Born in Olive, Oklahoma, he was a cousin of Woody Guthrie2 He grew up around horses and musical instruments before the family moved to California in the mid-1930s, where he took on the nicknames "Jack", "Oklahoma", and "Oke"2 He competed in rodeo as a bucking-horse rider and in 1937 traveled with Woody to Los Angeles where they landed on the Oke & Woody Show on KFVD radio in Hollywood2

Career in musicedit

Guthrie's rewritten version of a Woody Guthrie song "Oklahoma Hills" Capitol 201 reached No 1 in 1945, staying on the charts for 19 weeks1 The b side, "I'm A Brandin' My Darlin' With My Heart", reached No 5 later that year At the time the record became a hit Jack Guthrie was in the US Army and stationed in the Pacific Theater As soon as he got out of the service he wrote and recorded more songs, played live gigs up and down the West Coast His version of "Oakie Boogie" Capitol 341, a hit at No 3 in 1947, is considered a candidate for the first rock and roll record In July 1947 he was admitted to a hospital with tuberculosis He died in 1948 in Livermore, California

Guthrie's style was influenced by Jimmie Rodgers and adapted to fit his cowboy image2 Although the labels listed Jack Guthrie and His Oklahomans as the artist, in reality Guthrie had no band The studio brought in some of its better musicians to back Guthrie Many of them, Porky Freeman, Red Murrell, Cliffie Stone, and Billy Hughes among them, were stars in their own right

See alsoedit

  • Oklahoma Hills


  1. ^ a b Whitburn, The Billboard Book of Top 40 Country Hits, p 146
  2. ^ a b c d e Logsdon, Guy, "Guthrie, Leon Jerry "Jack" 1915–1948," Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture Archived May 31, 2010, at the Wayback Machine accessed May 26, 2010


  • Whitburn, Joel The Billboard Book of Top 40 Country Hits Billboard Books, 2006 ISBN 0-8230-8291-1

External linksedit

  • Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture – Guthrie, Leon Jerry "Jack"

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