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Dust Bowl Ballads [Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered]

Woody GuthrieAudio CD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

Available from these sellers.


Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 12 Songs, 2014 $6.99  
Audio CD, Import, 1999 $9.79  
Audio CD, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, 2000 --  
Vinyl, 2009 --  
Audio Cassette, 1998 --  

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. The Great Dust Storm (Dust Storm Disaster) 3:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Talkin' Dust Bowl Blues 2:38$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Pretty Boy Floyd 3:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Dusty Old Dust (So Long It's Been God To Know Yuh) 3:05$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Dust Bowl Blues 3:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Blowin' Down This Road (I Ain't Going To Be Treated This Way) 3:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Tom Joad Part I 3:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Tom Joad Part II 3:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Do Re Mi 2:32$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Dust Bowl Refugee 3:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. I Ain't Got No Home In This World Anymore 2:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Vigilante Man 3:20$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Dust Cain't Kill Me 2:53$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Dust Pneumonia Blues 2:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. Talkin' Dust Bowl Blues (Alternate Version (Previously Unreleased)) 2:27$0.99  Buy MP3 

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The Making of Woody at 100: The Woody Guthrie Centennial Collection from Smithsonian Folkways


Woodrow Wilson “Woody” Guthrie (1912-67) was one of the most important folk composers in American history. "This Land Is Your Land" is ubiquitous in American life and regarded by many as an alternative national anthem. His songs have influenced generations of musicians.

Born in Oklahoma, Woody is generally associated with the common people and those displaced by the ... Read more in Amazon's Woody Guthrie Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Dust Bowl Ballads + Ultimate Collection
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 11, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Buddha
  • ASIN: B00004TY8S
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,484 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

"If you'll gather 'round me children, a story I will tell," sings Woody Guthrie in "Pretty Boy Floyd." Children of all ages have never stopped gathering 'round Woody Guthrie since he recorded these songs in the spring of 1940, and that most-famous line tells us a lot about his approach: his songs are for all people, simple and direct enough to be understood by young ones, irresistibly catchy, yet devilishly clever and cutting. His ability to boil down complex emotions and issues to their very core has rarely been matched. "So long it's been good to know yuh," he sings in "Dusty Old Dust," and its childlike sing-along quality only serves to reinforce his very serious points. Across these 14 songs, Guthrie recounts and relives his experience as an Okie forced from his home by the Depression and drought of the 1930s, chronicling the arduous journey in brilliant, sometimes hilarious, sometimes horrifying detail. The characters that inhabit his stories are sincere, sympathetic, and brutally alive. Originally released in 1940 on two albums, and again in 1964 for the benefit of salivating folk revivalists, Dust Bowl Ballads returns once again in 2000 freshly remastered, full of new photos and boasting one alternate take. If there is one album of modern American folk music that deserves to be reissued for the benefit of each generation, it is this collection. In terms of the singer-songwriter concept, it is truly the river's source; in historical terms, it's to the New Deal what the Declaration of Independence is to the American Revolution. --Marc Greilsamer

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For the eager listener, this is a miracle July 11, 2000
Format:Audio CD
If you're willing to listen and imagine the time, place and circumstance of this recording, its as remarkable a musical thing can be. This very modest voice coming out of what must seemed an Old testament plague, to tell us stories, sing us a simple song. It is almost like the world was starting again, with its uniquely American voice to piece itself back together, without the trappings of history beyond the memories of this man and his companions. Pretty damn beautiful, Woody.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant April 23, 2001
Format:Audio CD
I have had this release on lp for a number of years now, and am thrilled to see it on cd. There is little that a 30 year old can say about Woody Guthrie that hasn't been said by someone who lived in his generation, went through the hardships that he did, and understands all the nuances of his music. But what I CAN say is that his music resonates wonderfully with ME!
The songs flow wonderfully from one to the next, painting the desolate picture of the Dust Bowl during the drpression. The sorrow, pain, hope, and hopelessnesss that each person must have felt is all right there. From "Tom Joad" to "Pretty Boy Floyd" (covered by the Byrds, among others), the songs are pure and honest- as all of Woody's dittys were.
A brilliant gem of the highest order, "Dust Bowl,Ballads" is essential listening for everyone. Such grace, purity, and honesty rarely shows on lps any more. Woody shows why they should. God bless you, Woody.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An important and wonderful recording November 1, 2002
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I got a vinyl copy of this on RCA some time around 1970 and I am grateful to whichever label[s] has/have taken the initiative to make available on CD. It is an essential item in my collection, and I love to listen to it, i.e. not just academically interesting, IMHO.
This is great recording. Many of Woody's best songs are represented in fine fashion, and I must admit that every time I put it on and hear him start out singing cut #1 " ... On the 14th day of April in 1935 ..." it starts me out on a musical journey that lasts til the last song. Never fails. He was an indominable spirit, and when I think of Woody at his best, I think of this record.
PS If you are ever doing some long-haul driving and you are in the middle of nowhere at 3 in the morning, try putting this CD on your mobile hi-fi. It's an American experience.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
"Dust Bowl Ballads" was apparently the most successful album Woody Guthrie ever made, especially since it gained him public acclaim. This reissue of the 1940 album contains Guthrie's original liner notes in which he declares: "This bunch of songs . . . are 'Oakie' songs, 'Dust Bowl' Songs, 'Migracious' songs, about my folks and my relatives, about a jillion of 'em, that got hit by the drought, the dust, the wind, the banker, and the landlord, and the police, all at the same time . . . and it was these things all added up that caused us to pack our wife and kids into our little rattletrap jalopies, and light out down the Highway--in every direction, mostly west to California."

What stands out most for me on this album are the two parts of "Tom Joad." Obviously Guthrie was impressed by both John Steinbeck's novel "The Grapes of Wrath," and John Ford's motion picture, which followed quickly on the heels of publication. In just under 7 minutes time Guthrie relates the story of Tom Joad, in many ways a story song similar to "The Great Dust Bowl (Dust Storm Disaster)" or "Pretty Boy Floyd." What strikes me is that there is no explicit argument as to the meaning or import of the story, as if in telling the tale the point is obvious. Like reading scripture or even the old poets reciting the epic poems, the audience (or congregation if you will), recognizes the moral of the tale. Of course the Oakies would not have to be told the lesson of their lives. Singing the songs and hearing them sung validates their pain and suffering by making sure it is remembered and not blown away on the winds. Once you start thinking along these lines it is hard not to think of Guthrie's folk songs as the most sacred of our secular music.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Essential Piece of History July 11, 2000
Format:Audio CD
Woody Guthrie didn't invent American folk music. It's been around for centuries. Instead, Woody Guthrie arguably invented MODERN American folk music. He did it with these 1940 recordings.
You can read about the Dust Bowl years in any American History book. But these songs actually take you there. Having grown up in Oklahoma (hardest hit dustbowl state) and having lived as a "Dustbowl Refugee", Woody Guthrie sang many of these songs from experience.
Woody takes you there with such harrowing tales as "The Great Dust Storm", "Dusty Old Dust", "Dust Bowl Refugee", and "Vigilante Man". Fortunately, Woody also had a sense of humor ("Talking Dust Bowl Blues").
Now to the burning question. Most of you who are reading this probably already own these same recordings on the out of print Rounder CD from the late '80s. Why should you buy them again? For the bonus track? Not really. While pleasant enough, the alternate take of "Talking Dust Bowl Blues" introduced here doesn't offer any revelations.
You should buy this for the remastering. There is hardly a crackle or a pop to be heard anywhere on here. The sound quality obviously isn't perfect, but it is an amazing improvement over the Rounder CD. It's almost as if you're in the room with Woody as he sings these tales to you.
Finally, Woody's original liner notes have been restored in all of there glory. These notes are as much a part of these recordings as the music itself.
This is simply the greatest collection of folk ballads ever assembled on one CD. Enjoy!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Guthrie's first great master work.
This is first great work by the American master and you can tell why it's referred to as the first concept album. Clear crisp sound from these historic recordings. Read more
Published 1 month ago by SteveG
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Antonio Pla Bou
5.0 out of 5 stars It is a great way to share how different times spark different styles...
I bought this album for my US History lesson on the Dust Bowl. It is a great way to share how different times spark different styles of music.
Published 6 months ago by Christine
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Collection.
Historically, these are probably the best versions of Woody's songs that exist. Excellent set. Anyone doing research on Woody or the 1930's and 40's must have this collection.
Published 8 months ago by DavidM
5.0 out of 5 stars Dust Bowl Ballads
I used one word-GREAT- to describe my purchase (your product) for my feedback to you regarding this item. You replied that you required nineteen more words for my description. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Steven G. Stoops
5.0 out of 5 stars Dust Bowl Ballads
Listening to Woody Guthrie's Dust Bowl Ballads is something akin to an American History lesson. On the other hand, it's also something like looking into a mirror to see our own... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Paul Williamson
5.0 out of 5 stars True Grit
Real true grit about some seriously hard times. Simple, heartfelt--registers in the gut, heart, and head. Still has a message for us today.
Published 23 months ago by P Grissom
5.0 out of 5 stars American Music Classic
Woody Guthrie's DustBowl Ballads is a great collection. It presents a historical account of a trying period of History for people in the 1930's Mid-West America, which is not... Read more
Published on January 17, 2012 by Mr Tony
5.0 out of 5 stars American Folk
Woody Guthrie has inspired so many artists, it would be remiss to not have him in your collection. The recordings are a little dated, but it takes nothing away from the rawness of... Read more
Published on March 5, 2011 by Spider Monkey
5.0 out of 5 stars Many powerful memories
This CD brought back many poignant memories to my mother and father of their childhoods in the dustbowl and depression. They loved every track and sang along with many of them. Read more
Published on April 10, 2009 by Charles R. Hart Jr.
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