Leon Jerry "Jack" Guthrie (November 13, 1915 – January 15, 1948) was a songwriter and performer whose rewritten version of the Woody Guthrie song "Oklahoma Hills" was a hit in 1945. The two musicians were cousins.
Born in Olive, Oklahoma, he was a cousin of Woody Guthrie. He grew up around horses and musical instruments before the family moved to California in the mid-1930s, where he took on the nicknames "Jack", "Oklahoma", and "Oke". He competed in rodeo as a bucking-horse rider and in 1937 traveled with Woody to Los Angeles where they landed on The Oke & Woody Show on KFVD radio in Hollywood.
Career in music
Guthrie's rewritten version of a Woody Guthrie song "Oklahoma Hills" (Capitol 201) reached No. 1 in 1945, staying on the charts for 19 weeks. The b side, "I'm A Brandin' My Darlin' With My Heart", reached No. 5 later that year. At the time the record became a hit Jack Guthrie was in the U.S. Army and stationed in the Pacific Theater. As soon as he got out of the service he wrote and recorded more songs, played live gigs up and down the West Coast. In July 1947 he was admitted to a hospital with tuberculosis. He died in 1948 in Livermore, California.
Guthrie's style was influenced by Jimmie Rodgers and adapted to fit his cowboy image. Although the labels listed 'Jack Guthrie & His Oklahomans' as the artist, in reality Guthrie had no working band. The studio brought in some of its better musicians to back Guthrie. Many of them, like Porky Freeman, Red Murrell, Cliffie Stone, and Billy Hughes were recording artists in their own right.
|1945||201||Oklahoma Hills // I'm Brandin' My Darlin' Within My Heart||as 'Jack Guthrie & His Oklahomans'|
|1946||246||I Loved You Once But I Can't Trust You Now // When The Cactus Is In Bloom||as 'Jack Guthrie & His Oklahomans'|
|1946||309||I'm Tellin' You // Chained To A Memory||as 'Jack Guthrie & His Oklahomans'|
|1947||341||Oakie Boogie // The Clouds Rained Trouble Down||as 'Jack Guthrie & His Oklahomans'|
|1947||406||You Laughed And I Cried // It's Too Late To Change Your Mind||as 'Jack Guthrie & His Oklahomans'|
|1947||40012||This Troubled Mind O' Mine // I'm Building A Stairway To Heaven||as 'Jack Guthrie & His Oklahomans'|
|1947||48005||Shame On You // Oklahoma Hills (B-side by Jimmy Wakely)||as 'Jack Guthrie & His Oklahomans'|
|1947||40032||Please, Oh Please // Oklahoma's Calling||as 'Jack Guthrie & His Oklahomans'|
|1948||40075||Ida Red // Next To The Soil||as 'Jack Guthrie & His Oklahomans'|
|1948||48016*||Oklahoma Hills // When The Cactus Is In Bloom (reissues)||as 'Jack Guthrie & His Oklahomans'|
|1948||48017*||This Troubled Mind O' Mine // Chained To A Memory (reissues)||as 'Jack Guthrie & His Oklahomans'|
|1948||48018*||Oakie Boogie // Oklahoma's Calling (reissues)||as 'Jack Guthrie & His Oklahomans'|
|1948||40118||You're Gonna Be Sorry (Some Of These Days) // Bow Down Brother||as 'Jack Guthrie & His Oklahomans'|
|1948||15251||In The Shadows Of My Heart // Answer To Moonlight And Skies||as 'Jack Guthrie & His Oklahomans'|
|1948||15266||Oklahoma Hills // Oakie Boogie (reissues)||as 'Jack Guthrie & His Oklahomans'|
|1949||40131||No Need To Knock Upon My Door // Look Out For The Crossing||as 'Jack Guthrie & His Oklahomans'|
|1949||40222||Colorado Blues // Welcome Home Stranger||as 'Jack Guthrie & His Oklahomans'|
|1952||F2128||Oklahoma Hills // Oakie Boogie (reissues)||as 'Jack Guthrie & His Oklahomans'|
- Oklahoma Hills (Bear Family BCD-15580, 1991)