Song as tributes to, or with mentions of, Cisco Houston include:

Song as tributes to, or with mentions of, Cisco Houston include:

Song as tributes to, or with mentions of, Cisco Houston include:

Cisco Houston: The Folkways Years, 1944-1961

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  • Left to right: Wade Mainer, Red Rector, J.E. Mainer, Fred Smith, Cisco Houston, Rosie Ledford, Woody Guthrie, Lee Hays, Sonny Terry, Minnie, Burl Ives, Lily May Ledford

    During the fifties, Cisco Houston performed college, club. and church concert dates, with memorable appearances at Town Hall and Madison Square Garden in New York City and the 1960 Newport Folk Festival. He toured India with Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee, and Marilyn Child under the auspices of the State Department and the American National Theater and Academy; and, on his way home, he performed for enthusiastic audiences in England and Scotland. He was also a guest on numerous radio and television programs. His recording career boasted widespread representation on labels including Disc. Stinson. Folkways, Vanguard, and others. In 1965, Oak Publications put out a songbook entitled 900 Miles: The Ballads, Blues and Folksongs of Cisco Houston.

  • Houston and Guthrie traveled and sang together in the years before World War II, parting company when Houston joined the merchant marine, and sailed to ports around the globe. After his stint in the service, Cisco Houston stayed in New York for a while before crossing the continent to resettle in Hollywood, He rejoined forces with Guthrie and often teamed up with Leadbelly, John Jacob Niles, Burl lves, and other prominent performers and recording artists. He was part of Moe Asch's first Folkways recording sessions, and was among the singers who often performed and recorded with the Almanac Singers, along with Butch, Pete, and Bess Lomax Hawes, Sis Cunningham, Gordon Friesen, Arthur Stern, Josh White, Brownie McGhee, Sonny Terry, and Earl Robinson.

    Cisco Houston was distinguished by his voice, a smooth baritone sometimes considered too polished for folk music. His voice was criticized as being too good, too professional, and lacking in authenticity. Cisco responded to this accusation:

    TrackArtistTitleComposerProducerRating
    ACisco HoustonThe Grand Coulee Dam Song

  • Cisco Houston
    Birth name Gilbert Vandine Houston
    Born (1918-08-18)August 18, 1918
    Wilmington, Delaware, United States
    Died April 29, 1961(1961-04-29) (aged 42)
    San Bernardino, California, United States
    Genres Folk
    Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter
    Instruments Guitar, Voice
    Years active 1930s–1960

    The last 6 songs on this CD most likely feature Woody Guthrie singing lead accompanied by Cisco and on one or more Sonny Terry. These songs were recorded in the early 1940's, before the Folkways recordings, and have been p.d. for years. That's why they show up on a variety of budget label Woody Guthrie (and Cisco Houston) CDs and albums, under various titles and in various combinations.

Cisco Houston | Download Music, Tour Dates & Video | eMusic

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 ("Fare Thee Well, Cisco"), ("Cisco Houston Passed This Way"), and Tom McGrath ("Blues for Cisco Houston").