04. Philadelphia Lawyer
(Woody Guthrie/Woody Guthrie Publications, Inc., BMI)
Track 4 – Philadelphia Lawyer (MASTER MA 36)
Guthrie wrote this sardonic song – later a hit for Rose Maddox and the Maddox Brothers – while performing with Maxine Crissman on KFVD, Los Angeles, in August, 1937. Apparently it was immediately popular when Guthrie first sang it over KFVD. In his 1938 printed collection of “Woody and Lefty Lou’s Favorite Collection [of] Old Time Hill Country Songs,” he wrote, “This song I sung two times over the microbephone. And it undoubtedly leaked out all over the country, ‘cause they was letters from almost everywhere come a-piling in.” It is set to a melody that Guthrie reportedly learned from guitarist Cluster Baker when Guthrie, Baker, and fiddler Matt Jennings formed The Corncob Trio in the mid-1930’s.