Oklahoma Hills

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"Oklahoma Hills" is a song written by Woody Guthrie. Members of the Western Writers of America chose it as one of the Top 100 Western songs of all time.[1] In 2001, the Oklahoma Legislature declared it to be the official state folk song.

Jack Guthrie, Woody's cousin, changed the lyrics and music slightly and in 1945 recorded a Western swing version, which reached No. 1 on the Juke Box Folk Records charts.[2] It remains the best-known version of "Oklahoma Hills", and was the biggest hit of Jack Guthrie's fairly short life. Though Woody originated the song, the official Woody Guthrie website credits both him and Jack as its writers, perhaps because Jack's changes have become so well known.

Country singer Hank Thompson, joined by His Brazos Valley Boys, recorded a well-known version of "Oklahoma Hills" in 1961. Thompson's Western swing rendition reached No. 10 on the Billboard magazine Hot C&W Singles chart.

Woody's son, Arlo Guthrie, recorded the song for his album Running Down the Road, released in 1969 by Warner Bros. Records.

Chorus[edit]

Way down yonder in the Indian nation
I rode my pony on the reservation
In the Oklahoma Hills where I was born
Way down yonder in the Indian nation
A cowboy’s life is my occupation
In the Oklahoma Hills where I was born

Recordings[edit]

Recordings of "Oklahoma Hills" have been made by these singers, among others:

References[edit]

  1. ^ Western Writers of America (2010). "The Top 100 Western Songs". American Cowboy. Archived from the original on 10 August 2014. 
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 146. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"At Mail Call Today" by Gene Autry
Most Played Juke Box Folk Records
number one single by Jack Guthrie

July 28, 1945
Succeeded by
"You Two-Timed Me One Time Too Often" by Tex Ritter