Chanteur Folk US né Gilbert Vandine Houston, le 18 Août 1918 à Wilmington (Delaware). Cisco Houston, compagnon de Woody Guthrie depuis le début des années quarante, était un Vocalsiste remarquable. Après avoir enregistré pour Folkways Records, Cisco Houston est mort des suites d'un cancer à San Bernadino (Californie) le 25 Avril 1961.

Cisco Houston is best remembered as a traveling companion and harmony Vocalsist for Woody Guthrie. But Houston was equally influential as a folksinger in his own right. With his acoustic guitar accompanying his unadorned baritone Vocalss, Houston provided a musical voice for America's downtrodden -- the cowboys, miners, union activists, railroad workers, and hobos -- that resonated in the songs of the urban folk revival of the 1950s and '60s.
The second of four children, Houston inherited the musical traditions of North Carolina from his father, a sheet metal worker, and the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia, where his mother and grandmother learned many traditional folk songs. A native of Delaware, Houston moved, at the age of two, to Southern California with his family. Nearly blind and suffering from nystagmus, Houston's early interests were in theater and art. At Rockdale Elementary School, in the Eagle Rock Valley between Pasadena and Glendale, he participated in many school productions. He sharpened his acting skills with courses at L.A. City College and in productions presented by Hollywood Theater groups and the Pasadena Playhouse.
Deserted by his father in 1932, two years after moving with his family to Bakersfield, Houston left home at the age of 16, and together with a brother wandered the country seeking work. The journey marked the first of more than 30 treks across the United States. During the trip, Houston renamed himself after Cisco, CA, a small town between Sacramento and Reno, NV.
Returning to Hollywood, Houston renewed his involvement with theater groups. In one such group, he met and befriended actor Will Geer. In 1938, Houston and Geer heard a radio show on KFVD in Hollywood featuring Woody Guthrie. Inspired by Guthrie's performance, the two, struggling, decided to visit the young folksinger. When they did, it sparked a longtime friendship. Not long after meeting Guthrie, Houston began appearing on the radio show, singing tenor harmonies to Guthrie's lead Vocalss. Houston and Guthrie subsequently began performing at migrant camps, occasionally with Burl Ives, with Geer paying their expenses. When Guthrie traveled to New York in 1939, he persuaded Houston to join him. Houston later returned to the Big Apple on his own and accepted a job as a street barker for a burlesque house on 42nd Street.
In 1940, Houston joined the merchant marines. Although he spent most of the next few years on a ship, he performed with Guthrie and the Almanac Singers whenever the opportunity arose. Shortly after the start of World War II, Guthrie joined him on the seas. During the time they served together, the two folksingers were on two ships that were torpedoed. After his discharge, Houston traveled in and out of New York, often staying with folksinger Leadbelly and his wife, Martha. Houston continued to spend much of his time on the road, working occasionally as a cowboy, lumberjack, and potato picker, and appearing in bit roles in movies.
After Guthrie signed a recording contract with Folkways, Houston sang high-tenor Vocalss on his recordings. He also made his debut solo recordings for the label. In 1948, Houston appeared in the hit Broadway musical The Cradle Will Rock. He returned to Hollywood the following year, however, and appeared in bit roles in several films. By 1950, he was back on the road, traveling with Guthrie.
In the early '50s, Houston recorded several tunes for the Decca label, including several that went unreleased until more recent years. He also appeared on television shows in Tucson, AZ. Houston's greatest break arrived when he was hired to host his own three-days-a-week television show, The Gil Houston Show, for the International Network. By January 1955, the show was broadcast over 550 stations by the Mutual Broadcasting System. He also had his first success as a songwriter when his tune "Crazy Heart," co-written with Lewis Allen, became a minor hit for Jackie Paris.
Things began to fall apart, however, during the red-baiting days of the McCarthy era. Although there is no documentation to show that Houston's radio show was canceled due to a blacklist, the network tired of his leftist views and gave him his walking papers. Houston returned to California to play concerts.
In 1959, Houston was invited, along with Marilyn Child, Sonny Terry, and Brownie McGhee, to perform during a 12-week tour of India, sponsored by the Indo-American Society and the United States Information Service. After his return to the U.S., Houston served as narrator and performer of a CBS-TV show, Folk Sound, U.S.A. Broadcast on June 16, 1960, the show represented the first full-length television show on folk music. Later that summer, Houston appeared at the Newport Folk Festival and recorded for the Vanguard label.
Just when it seemed that Houston's career was taking off, he was diagnosed with cancer. His death in the spring of 1961 was mourned throughout the folk community, and memorials were written and recorded by Tom Paxton ("Fare Thee Well, Cisco"), Peter LaFarge ("Cisco Houston Passed This Way"), and Tom McGrath ("Blues for Cisco Houston").
In 1965, Moses Asch, the owner of Folkways Records, and Irwin Silber, publisher of Sing Out! magazine, edited a collection of Houston's songs, 900 Miles and Other Railroad Ballads, published by Oak Publications.

Talents : Vocals, Guitar

Style musical : Folk

THE KILLER (1958)

ST. JAMES INFIRMARY (1958)

DARK AS A DUNGEON (1960)

HOBO'S LULLABY (1962)

NEW YORK TOWN (1962)

Years in activity :

1910 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 2000 10

DISCOGRAPHY

Single & EP

02/1960 SP Vanguard ‎VRS-35008 (US) . This Train / Badman's Blunder
1968 EP JOC 45 FS 509 (F) Take A Wiff On Me / The Golden Vanity / Old Time Religion / Cumberland Gap

Albums

1952 LP 10" FOLKWAYS FP 22 (US) Cowboy Ballads - Chisholm Trail / Diamond Joe / I Ride An Old Paint / Little Joe, The Wrangler / The Dying Cow-Boy / Stewball / Trouble In Mind / Sweet Betsy From Pike / Tying A Knot In The Devil's Tail
1954 LP 10" FOLKWAYS FA 2013 (US)
900 Miles And Other R.R. Songs - 900 Miles / 'Getting Up' Holler / The Roamer / Wreck Of The '97 / Hobo Bill / The Great American Bum / The Brave Engineer / The Gambler / The Rambler / R.R. Bill / Worried Man Blues
1954 LP 10" FOLKWAYS FA 2042 (US) Hard Travelin' - Hard Travelin / Stagolee / The John B. Sails / The Frozen Logger / Turtle Dove / True Love On My Mind / Dink's Song / Hound Dog / Gypsy Davy / Intoxicated Rat / The Girl In The Wood
1955 LP 12" Melodisc MLP12-106  (UK) More Songs By Woody Guthrie And Cisco Houston - Take A Whiff On Me / Bad Lee Brown / The Golden Vanity / Cumberland Gap / Sourwood Mountain / Old Time Religion / Columbus Stockade / Johnny Hard / Foggy Mountain Top / Bury Me Beneath The Willow / Skip To My Lou / Ezekiel Saw The Wheel
1958 LP 10" FOLKWAYS FA 2022 (US) Cowboy Ballads - Chisholm Trail / Diamond Joe / I Ride An Old Paint / Little Joe, The Wrangler / The Dying Cow-Boy / Stewball / Trouble In Mind / Sweet Betsy From Pike / Tying A Knot In The Devil's Tail
1958 LP 12" FOLKWAYS FA 2346 (US) Cisco Sings - Pat Works On The Railway / Blowing Down That Old Dusty Road / Drill, Ye Tarriers, Drill / The Killers / Rambling, Gambling Man / The Zebra Dun / Old Reilly / Old Howard / Make Me A Bed Right / Down On Your Floor / John Hardy / The Boll Weevil / The Midnight Special / St. James Infirmary / Great July Jones
1960 LP 12" Vanguard ‎VRS-9057 (US) The Cisco Special! - Badman Ballad / Hard Travelin' / Nine Hundred Miles From Home / Way Out There / Old Smoky / This Train / Talking Dust Bowl / This Land / Old Dan Tucker / Along The Colorado Trail / Old Blue / Chilly Winds / Dark As A Dungeon / I Don't Mind Marrying / Big Rock Candy Mountain
1960 LP 12" Vanguard ‎VRS-9089 (US) Cisco Houston Sings The Songs Of Woody Guthrie - This Land : Pastures Of Plenty / (My Daddy Flies A) Ship In The Sky / Deportees (Plane Wreck At Los Gatos) / Grand Coulee Dam / Sinking Of The Reuben James / Curly Headed Babies : Curly Headed Baby / Ladies Auxiliary / Taking It Easy / Hard, Ain't It Hard / Big Men : Jesus Christ / Buffalo Skinners / Pretty Boy Floyd / Philadelphia Lawyer / Lone Wolves : Old Lone Wolf / Talking Fishing Blues / Ranger's Command / Do Re Mi / Blowing Down That Old Dusty Road
1962 LP 12" Vanguard ‎VRS-9107 (US) I Ain't Got No Home - I Ain't Got No Home / Waggoner's Lad / New York Town / Danville Girl / Bonneville Dam / Wreck Of The '97 / My Gal / Tom Joad / Talking Guitar Blues / Rambling Round / I'm A Dust Bowl Refugee / Trouble In Mind / East Texas Red / Hobo Blues / Streets Of Laredo / Take My Hand - Didn't It Rain / This Land Is My Land
1962 LP 12" FOLKWAYS FA 2480 (US)

Cisco Houston ‎Sings Songs Of The Open Road - Mule Skinner Blues / Git Along Little Dogies / The Erie Canal / Hobo's Lullaby / East Virginia Blues / Travel On / Pie In The Sky / Mysteries Of A Hobo's Life / Soup Song / Beans, Bacon And Gravy / Tramp, Tramp, Tramp / Cryderville Jail / I Ain't Got No Home

1962 LP 12" FOLKWAYS FA 2483 (US) Woody Guthrie SINGS FOLK SONGS with Leadbelly, Cisco Houston, Sonny Terry, Bess Hawes - Hard Travelin' / What Did The Deep Blue Sea Say / The Rising Sun Blues / Nine Hundred Miles [instr.] / John Henry / Oregon Trail / We Shall Be Free / Dirty Overhalls / Jackhammer Blues / Springfield Mountain / Brown Eyes / The Boll Weevil Blues / Guitar Blues [instr.] / Will You Miss Me?
1962 LP 12" Stinson ‎SLPS 54 (US) Southern Mountain Hoedowns - Woody Guthrie, Cisco Houston, Sonny Terry, Alec Stewart - Ida Red / Fiddle Breakdown / Old Dan Tucker / Hoe Cakes Fritter / Cripple Creek / Sally Gooden / Salty Dog Breakdown / Buffalo Gals / Joe Clark / Froggy Went A-Courting
1962 LP 12" FONTANA TFL 6014 (US) Cisco Houston Sings The Songs Of Woody Guthrie - Pastures Of Plenty / Ship In The Sky / Deportees / Grand Coulee Dam / Sinking Of The Reuben James / My Curly Headed Boy / Ladies Auxilliary / Taking It Easy / Hard, Ain't It Hard / Jesus Christ / Buffalo Skinners / Pretty Boy Floyd / Philadelphia Lawyer / Old Lone Wolf / Talking Fish Blues / Ranger's Command / Do Re Mi / Going Down The Road
1963 LP 12" Stinson ‎SLP 32 (US) Cowboy Songs - Songs By Woody Guthrie / CISCO HOUSTON - Chisholm Trail / Billy The Kid / Whoopie Ti Yi Yo / Philadelphia Lawyer / Ride Around Little Doggies / Gambling Man / Red River Valley / Jessie James
1964 LP 12" FOLKWAYS FA 2484 (US) Woody Guthrie SINGS FOLK SONGS, VOL. 2 WITH Cisco Houston AND SONNY TERRY - Keep My Skillet Good And Greasy / Talking Hard Luck Blues / Whoopee Ti Yi Yo, Git Along Little Doggies / A Picture From Life's Other Side / Hen Cackle / Danville Girl / Put My Little Shoes Away / Sally Goodin / Hard, Ain't It Hard / Gamblin' Man / Wreck Of The Old '97 / Take A Whiff On Me / Make Me A Pallet Down On Your Floor / Buffallo Gal / Goin' Down The Road Feelin' Bad
1964 LP 12" Disc DS1103 (US) A Legacy - Black Is The Color / Molly Malone / Frankie & Johnny / Clickety Clack / Venezuela / Precious Lord / Midnight Special / Blow The Candle Out / Haul Away Joe / Talking Blues / Black Girl / Dan Tucker
09/1965 LP 12" Archive Of Folk & Jazz Music FM-105 / ‎FS-205 (US) Cisco Houston - Take A Whiff On Me / Bad Lee Brown / The Golden Vanity / Cumberland Gap / Sourwood Mountain / Old Time Religion / Columbus Stockade / Johnny Hard / Foggy Mountain Top / Buy Me Beneath The Willow / Skip To My Lou / Ezekill Saw Wheel
1965 LP 12" XTRA ‎1002 (UK) Cisco Houston - Midnight Special / Dan Tucker / Venezuela / Blow The Candles Out / The Fox / Molly Malone / Red River Valley / Ship In The Sky / John Henry / East Virginia Blues / Haul Away Hoe / Down In The Valley / Precious Lord / Clickerty Clark / Black Is The Colour / My Girl / Talking Blues / Frankie And Johnny
1967 LP 12" Vanguard ‎SRV-3006 (US) I Ain't Got No Home - I Ain't Got No Home / Waggoner's Lad / New York Town / Danville Girl / Bonneville Dam / Wreck Of The '97 / My Gal / Tom Joad / Talking Guitar Blues / Rambling Round / I'm A Dust Bowl Refugee / Trouble In Mind / East Texas Red / Hobo Blues / Streets Of Laredo / Take My Hand - Didn't It Rain / This Land Is My Land
1968 LP 12" FOLKWAYS FTS 31012 (US) Cisco Houston Sings American Folk Songs - Rambling, Gambling Man / Pat Works On The Railway / Drill, Ye Tarriers, Drill / The Killer / Zebra Dun / Old Reilly / I'm Going Down The Road Feeling Bad / St. James Infirmary / Old Howard / Make Me A Pallet Down On Your Floor / John Hardy / Boll Weevil / Midnight Special / Great July Jones
1968 ? LP 12" LE CHANT DU MONDE / FOLKWAYS FWX-M-50101 (F)
Cow-Boy Ballads / Rail-Road Songs - Chisholm Trail / Diamond Joe / I Ride An Old Paint / Little Joe, The Wrangler / The Dying Cow-Boy / Stewball / Trouble In Mind / Sweet Betsy From Pike / Tying A Knot In The Devil's Tail / 900 Miles / Gettin' Up Holler / The Roamer / Wreck Of The 97 / Hobo Bill / The Great American Bum / The Brave Engineer / The Gambler / The Rambler / Railroad Bill / Worried Man Blues
1968 ? LP 12" LE CHANT DU MONDE / FOLKWAYS ‎FWX-M 50105 (F) Poor Boy - Woody Guthrie with Cisco Houston and Sonny Terry - Poor Boy / Danville Girl N° 2 / Baltimore To Washington / Who's Going To Shoue Your Pretty Feet / Stepstone / Bed On The Floor / Little Darling / Train Blues / Mean Talking Blues / Ride Old Paint
1968 LP 12" LE CHANT DU MONDE / FOLKWAYS FWX 52480 (F) CISCO HOUSTON 3 - THE OPEN ROAD (HOBO AND WOBBLY SONGS) - Mule Skinner Blues / Get Along Little Dogies / The Erie Canal / Hobo's Lullaby / East Virginia Blues / Travel On / Pie In The Sky / The Job I Left Behind Me / Soup Song / Beans, Bacon And Gravy / The Tramp / Cryderville Jail / I Ain't Got No Home
1968 LP 12" LE CHANT DU MONDE / FOLKWAYS FWX-M 52483 (F) Woody Guthrie 1 - Woody Guthrie With Leadbelly, Cisco Houston, Sonny Terry And Bess Hawes - Hard Traveling / What Did The Deep Sea Say? / House Of The Rising Sun / Nine Hundred Miles / John Henry / Oregon Trail / We Shall Be Free / Dirty Overalls / Jack Hammer Blues / Springfield Mountain / Brown Eyes / The Boll Weevil / Guitar Blues / Will You Miss Me?
1969 LP 12" VERVE / FOLKWAYS FV 9002 (US) Passing Through - It Takes A Worried Man / Stewball / Red River Valley / Barbara Allen / Down In The Valley / Children Go Where I Send Thee / The Cat Came Back / East Virginia #2 / Little Dogie #2 / Mole In The Ground / Old Blue / John Henry / Trouble In Mind / Passing Through
196? LP 12" Melodisc MLP 12-106 (EUR) Memorial To Woody Guthrie And Cisco Houston - Take A Whiff On Me / Bad Lee Brown / The Golden Vanity / Cumberland Gap / Sourwood Mountain / Old Time Religion / Columbus Stockade / Johnny Hard / Foggy Mountain Top / Bury Me Beneath The Willow / Skip To My Lou / Ezekiel Saw The Wheel
1976 LP 12" Albatros ‎VPA 8292 (I) Goin' Down This Road Vol. 7 - Woody Guthrie - Guest Artists: Cisco Houston, Sonny Terry, Bess Hawes - Keep My Skillet Good And Greasy / Talking Hard Luck Blues / Whoopee Ti Yi Yo, Get Along Little Dogies / A Picture From Life's Other Side / Hen Cackle / Danville Girl / Put My Little Shoes Away / Sally Goodin / The Wreck Of The Old '97 / Take A Whiff On Me / Make Me A Pallet Down On Your Floor / Buffalo Gal / Goin' Down This Road Feelin' Bad
1977 LP 12" Albatros ‎VPA 8371 (I) Pie In The Sky - Mule Skinner Blues / Git Along Little Dogies / The Erie Canal / East Virginia Blues / Travel On / Beans, Bacon And Gravy / Pie In The Sky / The Job I Left Behind Me / Soup Song / Hobo's Lullaby / Tramp Tramp Tramp / Cryderville Jail / I Ain't Got No Home
1982 LP 12" JOKER SM 3960 (I) Woody Guthrie With CISCO HOUSTON And Sonny Terry VOL. 1 - Little Black Train / Who's Gonna Shoe Your Pretty Feet / Bed On The Floor / Jack Hammer Blues / John Henry / Brown Eyes / The House Of The Rising Sun / Danville Girl, No 2 / Ride Old Paint
1982 LP 12" JOKER SM 3961 (I) Woody Guthrie With CISCO HOUSTON And Sonny Terry VOL. 2 - Stackolee / Sourwood Mountain / Columbus Stockade / Bury Me Beneath The Willow / Chain Gang Special / Lost John / Cumberland Gap / Old Time Religion / Long John / Ezekial Saw The Wheel
1989 CD Smithsonian FOLKWAYS ‎SF CD 40010 (US) Leadbelly Sings Folk Songs With Woody Guthrie, Sonny Terry & Cisco Houston - There's A Man Going Around Taking Names / Stewball / Keep Your Hands Off Her / Good-Good-Good (Talking, Preaching) - We Shall Walk Thru The Valley / Lining Track / Outskirts Of Town / We Shall Be Free / The Blood Done Sign My Name (Ain't You Glad) / On A Monday / Jean Harlow / Corn Bread Rough / National Defense Blues / Little Children's Blues / Fiddler's Dram / Meeting At The Building
1991 CD LEGACY CD 345 (US) THE EARLY YEARS - Woody Guthrie With Guest Artists Cisco Houston and Sonny Terry - Hey Lolly Lolly / Buffalo Skinners / John Henry / Gipsy Davy / Worried Man Blues / More Pretty Girls Than One / Ain't Gonna Be Treated That Way / Rangers Command / Poor Boy / Lonesome Day / Pretty Boy Floyd / Hard, Ain't It Hard / Stackolee / Cumberland Gap / Old Time Religion / Sourwood Mountain / Long John / Lost John / Columbus Stockade / Bury Me Beneath The Willow
04/1994 CD Smithsonian FOLKWAYS SFWCD 40059  (US) The Folkways Years 1944-1961 - I Ain't Got No Home / Hard Traveling / Rambling, Gambling Man / Hobo Bill / There's A Better World A-Comin' / The Strawberry Roan / The Great American Bum / The Intoxicated Rat / The Cat Came Back / The Frozen Logger / Pat Works On The Railroad / Dark As A Dungeon / Diamond Joe / The Girl In The Wood / Ship In The Sky / The Fox / What Did The Deep Blue Sea Say / Saint James Infirmary / Born 100,000 Years Ago / Pie In The Sky / Mysteries Of A Hobo's Life / 900 Miles / Great July Jones / A Picture From Life's Other Side / Farmer's Lament / The Killer / I Ride An Old Paint / Zebra Dun / Passing Through
02/1995 CD COLLECTABLES COLCD 5605 (US) Woody Guthrie & Cisco Houston - VolUMEs 1 & 2 - Gypsy Davy / More Pretty Girls Than One / Pretty Boy Floyd / Buffalo Skinners / Hey Lolly Lolly / Lonesome Day / John Henry / Ranger's Command / Ain't Gonna Be Treated This Way / Poor Boy / Hard, Ain't It Hard / Worried Man Blues / Take A Whiff On Me / Skip To My Lou / Ezekiel Saw The Wheel / Johnny Hart / Columbus Stockade / Foggy Mountain Top / Sourwood Mountain / Bad Lee Brown / Cumberland Gap / The Golden Vanity / Old Time Religion / Bury Me Beneath the Willow
11/1996 CD Collector's Edition 13 (GER) Legendary - CISCO HOUSTON - ALAN LOMAX - Lament For William Chisolm / Blue Bonnets Over The Ocean / Walking Song / Gentle Lady / The Soldier's Song / Mouth Music / The Sister's Lament / The Song Of The Thrush / Dandling, Spinning & Walking Song / Pipe Imitations / Columbus Stockade / Johnny Hard / Foggy Mountain Dew / Bury Me Beneath The Willow / Skip To My Lou / Eziekel Saw The Wheel 
10/2000 CD Vanguard ‎795742 (US) Best Of The Vanguard Years - This Train / Roll On Columbia / Colorado Trail / Dark As A Dungeon / Hard Traveling / Old Blue / Nine Hundred Miles / Badman Ballad / Diamond Joe / John Hardy / Big Rock Candy Mountain / So Long It's Been Good / Buffalo Skinners / Pastures Of Plenty / Grand Coulee Dam / Hard, Ain't It Hard / Pretty Boy Floyd / Do Re Mi / Deportees / Tramp On The Street / Talking Dust Bowl / This Land Is Your Land / Way Out There / Chilly Winds

© Rocky Productions 4/09/2014