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Published on Jun 5, 2011
This rare segment of BBC Radio's Children's Hour features a brief interview with folk singer Woody Guthrie. He recorded "The Wabash Cannonball" and "900 Miles" for this broadcast.
Woody was a Merchant Marine, washing dishes on a Liberty Ship, the troop ship Sea Porpoise which carried troops to the Normandy beach in early July 1944. After the troops were sent ashore, the ship hit a mine but made its way back to England; Woody was routed through London toward Glasgow, Scotland, toward the United States. On a song manuscript dated "July 13th, 1944", Woody wrote, "this train is carrying me outside from London now; on up towards Belfast, and Glasgow."
While in London, he went to the offices of the BBC where he introduced himself as a member of The Martins and the Coys and was given the opportunity to sing on the Children's Hour. After an autobiographical statement, he was recorded singing with his guitar accompaniment two railroad songs.