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Into The Purple Valley (1972)

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Ry Cooder
Into The Purple Valley

Reprise Reprise



1. How Can You Keep Moving (Unless You Migrate Too) 2:25 
(Agnes Cunningham) 
Tonopah and Tidewater Music – BMI; 

2. Billy The Kid 3:45
(Traditional, adapted by Ry Cooder) 
Tonopah and Tidewater Music – BMI;

3. Money Honey 3:28
(Jesse Stone) 
Walden Music, Inc., - ASCAP; 

4. F.D.R. In Trinidad 3:01 
(Fitz MacLean) 
WB Music Corp, Inc. – ASCAP;

5. Teardrops Will Fall 3:03 
(Dickey Doo and Marion Smith) 
Dee Dee Music Co. – BMI; 

6. Denomination Blues 3:58
(Washington Phillips) 
Tonopah and Tidewater Music Co. – BMI;

7. On A Monday 2:52
(Huddie Ledbetter) 
Tro-Folkways Music Pub., Inc. – BMI;

8. Hey Porter 4:34
(Johnny Cash) 
Hi-Lo Music, Inc. – BMI;

9. Great Dream From Heaven 1:53 
(Joseph Spence) 
WB Music Corp – ASCAP; 

10. Taxes On The Farmer Feed Us All 3:52 
(Traditional, adaptation by Ry Cooder) 
Tonopah and Tidewater Music Co – BMI; 

11. Vigilante Man 4:15
(Woody Guthrie) 
Ludlow Music - BMI


With an emphasis on eclecticism, intricate syncopations and dazzling slide guitar and mandolin work, Ry Cooder’s “Into The Purple Valley” remains one of the artist’s most intriguing and influential albums. While the LP’s tune stack ranges from the charming calypso strains of “F.D.R. in Trinidad” to a dark-hued version of Woody Guthrie’s “Vigilante Man,” “Into The Purple Valley” also highlights little known songs of the Dust Bowl era, rediscovered and reworked by Cooder with distinctive and authentic musical touches.

A virtuoso on virtually every string instrument – from Mexican tiple to Middle Eastern saz to Hawaiian “Slack Key” Guitar – Ry Cooder began his musical career in the early ‘60’s as part of the burgeoning Los Angeles folk scene. In 1966 he formed the Rising Sons with Taj Mahal, going on to record of debut albums by Captain Beefheart and Little Feat. A legendary studio musician, Cooder played with a wide range of artists, from Randy Newman to Crazy Horse to the Rolling Stones. He made notable contributions to the latters 1969 release “Let It Bleed,” providing the central riff to the group’s smash hit “Honky Tonk Woman” in the process.

1969 was also the year Cooder landed a solo recording contract with Reprise Records. His debut album, “Ry Cooder” (1970), showcased his trademark slide guitar and encyclopedic musical influences. “Ry Cooder” was followed, in late 1972, with “Into The Purple Valley.”

Produced by Lenny Waronker and Jim Dickinson, “Into The Purple Valley” takes its theme from the epic journey of Dust Bowl farmers west to California. Evoking an almost forgotten period of American history with such songs as “How Can You Keep Moving (Unless You Migrate Too),” “Taxes On The Farmer Feed Us All,” and “Vigilante Man,” the LP established Cooder’s credentials as both a respected musicologist and richly talented artist. Other standout cuts on “Into The Purple Valley” include Johnny Cash’s “Hey Porter,” Leadbelly’s “On A Monday” and a definitive reworking of the standard “Billy The Kid,” featuring Cooder’s unparalleled mandolin playing.

Produced by Lenny Waronker and Jim Dickinson

Engineers: Lee Herschberg, Rudy Hill (recording), Lee Herschberg (mixing) Production Assistant: Judy Maizel
For Cover Art: 1. Charlie O’Bannon, Lighting Gaffer and Owen Crompton, Grip Foreman; 2. Salisbury-Zoell Prod.,; 3. Ed Thrasher; 4. Marty Evans, Photographer; 5. Clothes by Sumiko.


How Can You Keep On Moving:
Jim Keltner – Drums; Jim Dickinson – Piano; Chris Ethridge – Bass.

Money Honey: Jim Keltner – Drums; Jim Dickinson – Piano; Chris Ethridge – Bass.

F.D.R. In Trinidad – Fritz Richmond – Tub Bass; Milt Holland – Percussion.

Teardrops Will Fall: Jim Keltner – Drums; Jim Dickinson – Piano; Chris Ethridge – Bass, Milt Holland – Percussion.

Denomination Blues: Jim Dickinson – Celeste, Jerry Jumonville, Joe Davis, George Buhanon and Ike Williams – Horns.

On A Monday: John Craviotto – Drums, Fritz Richmond – Tub Bass.

Hey Porter: Jim Dickinson – Piano, Fritz Richmond – Tub Bass.

Taxes On The Farmer: Van Dyke Parks – Piano, Jim Dickinson – Harmonium, Jim Keltner – Drums, Chris Ethridge – Bass.

Voices: Gloria Jones, Donna Washburn, Donna Weiss, Claudia Linnear and Jim Dickinson.

Special Thanks To: Paul E. Rosenthal, Bobby Ray Watson

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