Greystone Oral Histories

Famous People at Greystone


Greystone was a meeting point for its famous patients (Woody Guthrie, Naomi Ginsberg) and their family and friends: Arlo Guthrie, Nora Guthrie, Bob Dylan and his former girlfriend, and Allen Ginsberg.

Recollections of their visits to Greystone as well as brief commentary by famous singer Dionne Warwick, a former Greystone employee, are provided.

Woody Guthrie Related Oral Histories



Arlo Guthrie, reknowned folk singer and son of Woody Guthrie
Arlo Guthrie shares his memories of his visits to his father, Woody Guthrie, when Woody was a patient at Greystone.

Nora Guthrie, Daughter of Woody Guthrie and President of Woody Guthrie Publications, President of Woody Guthrie Foundation, Founder of Woody Guthrie Archives
Nora talks about her father’s treatment at Greystone Hospital and visits that his family and notable people such as Bob Dylan made to see him there. Nora also discusses her efforts to preserve her father’s legacy through the Woody Guthrie Productions, the Woody Guthrie Foundation, the Woody Guthrie Archives and participation in numerous educational endeavors.

Jahanara Romney, friend of Bob Dylan and visitor to Woody Guthrie
Jahanara Romney, previously known as Bonnie Beecher, discusses her visit to Woody Guthrie, with their mutual friend folk singer Bob Dylan.

Naomi Ginsberg



Lyle Brooks, grandson of Naomi Ginsberg (Greystone patient) and nephew of Allen Ginsberg (author of poem, “Kaddish”).

Lyle recounts his grandmother’s mental illness and her treatment at Greystone Hospital. A brief video of Naomi Ginsberg at Pilgrim State Psychiatric Hospital is shown followed by a reading by actor Jerry Hurley of excerpts of Allen Ginsberg’s poem, “Kaddish” .

Dionne Warwick, Employee (summer 1960, 1961)
Dionne confirms her employment at Greystone while making her first musical hit, “Don’t Make Me Over.”

Prof. Jack Raglin, author of books about Enoch Bolles
Enoch Bolles was a highly regarded pin up artist and commercial illustrator. Bolles’ biographer, Prof. Jack Raglin describes Bolles art, life, and his art studio while he was treated at Greystone.



Roland Trenary, author of books about Mahlon Blaine
Mahlon Blaine was a prolific, if not well known illustrator who is buried in a pauper’s grave. His biographer, Roland Trenary explores Blaine’s secretive life, including his avant garde art and treatment by Greystone Superintendent, Archie Crandell.