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Woodrow Wilson Guthrie (; July 14, 1912 – October 3, 1967) was an American singer-songwriter and one of the most significant figures in
American folk music The term American folk music encompasses numerous music genres, variously known as ''traditional music'', ''traditional folk music Folk music is a music genre A music genre is a conventional category that identifies some pieces of music ...
. His work focused on themes of American socialism and
anti-fascism Anti-fascism is a political movement A political movement is a collective attempt by a group of people to change government policy or social values. Political movements are usually in opposition to an element of the status quo  and are ...

anti-fascism
. His music includes songs such as "
This Land Is Your Land 261px, Woody Guthrie in March 1943 "This Land Is Your Land" is one of the United States' most famous folk songs. Its lyrics were written by American folk singer Woody Guthrie Woodrow Wilson Guthrie (; July 14, 1912 – October 3, 1967) ...
", written in response to the American exceptionalist song "
God Bless America "God Bless America" is an American patriotic song written by Irving Berlin Irving Berlin (born Israel Beilin; yi, ישראל ביילין; May 11, 1888 – September 22, 1989) was an American composer and lyricist, widely considered one of ...
", and has inspired several generations both politically and musically. Guthrie wrote hundreds of
country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized social ...

country
,
folk Folk or Folks may refer to: Sociology *Nation *People * Folklore ** Folk art ** Folk dance ** Folk hero ** Folk music *** Folk metal *** Folk punk *** Folk rock *** British folk rock ** Folk religion * Folk taxonomy Arts, entertainment, and media ...

folk
, and
children's Biologically, a child (plural children) is a human being between the stages of childbirth, birth and puberty, or between the Development of the human body, developmental period of infancy and puberty. The legal definition of ''child'' generally ...
songs, along with
ballad A ballad is a form of verse, often a narrative set to music. Ballads derive from the medieval French ''chanson balladée'' or '' ballade'', which were originally "dance songs". Ballads were particularly characteristic of the popular poetry and ...
s and improvised works. ''
Dust Bowl Ballads ''Dust Bowl Ballads'' is an album packaged in book form, like a photograph album An album is a collection of audio recordings issued as a collection on compact disc (CD), Phonograph record, vinyl, audio tape, or another medium. Albums of ...
'', Guthrie's album of songs about the
Dust Bowl The Dust Bowl was a period of severe dust storm A dust storm, also called a sandstorm, is a meteorological phenomenon common in arid A region is arid when it is characterized by a severe lack of available water, to the extent o ...
period, was included on ''
Mojo better known as is a Japanese Folk music, folk singer and Music in Japanese animation, anime song singer who has performed on the soundtracks of various anime and tokusatsu series and movies. He is perhaps best known as the vocalist for the the ...
'' magazine's list of 100 Records That Changed The World, and many of his recorded songs are archived in the
Library of Congress The Library of Congress (LC) is the research library A library is a collection of materials, books or media that are easily accessible for use and not just for display purposes. It is responsible for housing updated information in order ...

Library of Congress
. Songwriters who have acknowledged Guthrie as a major influence on their work include
Bob Dylan Bob Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman; May 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter, author and visual artist. Often regarded as one of the greatest songwriters of all time, Dylan has been a major figure in for more than 50 years. Much of ...

Bob Dylan
,
Phil Ochs Philip David Ochs (; December 19, 1940 – April 9, 1976) was an American songwriter and protest song, protest singer (or, as he preferred, a topical singer). Ochs was known for his sharp wit, sardonic humor, political activism, often alliterati ...
,
Johnny Cash John R. Cash (born J. R. Cash; February 26, 1932 – September 12, 2003) was an American singer, songwriter, musician, and actor. Much of Cash's music contained themes of sorrow, moral tribulation, and redemption, especially in the later ...
,
Bruce Springsteen Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen (born September 23, 1949) is an American singer, songwriter, and musician who is both a solo artist and the leader of the E Street Band The E Street Band is an American rock band, and has been musician Bruc ...

Bruce Springsteen
,
Robert HunterRobert Hunter may refer to: Arts *Robert Hunter (painter) (died 1780), Irish portrait painter *Robert Hunter (encyclopædist) (1823–1897), British editor of the ''Encyclopædic Dictionary'' *Robert Hunter (author) (1874–1942), American sociolog ...
,
Harry Chapin Harold Forster Chapin (December 7, 1942 – July 16, 1981) was an American singer-songwriter, philanthropist Philanthropy consists of "private initiatives, for the public good, focusing on quality of life Quality of life (QOL) is defined ...
,
John Mellencamp John J. Mellencamp (born October 7, 1951), previously known as Johnny Cougar, John Cougar, and John Cougar Mellencamp, is an American musician, singer-songwriter, painter, actor, and film director. He is known for his catchy brand of heartland ...

John Mellencamp
,
Pete Seeger Peter Seeger (May 3, 1919 – January 27, 2014) was an American folk singer and social activist Activism consists of efforts to promote, impede, direct, or intervene in social, political, economic, or environmental reform with the d ...

Pete Seeger
, Andy Irvine,
Joe Strummer John Graham Mellor (21 August 1952 – 22 December 2002), better known as Joe Strummer, was a British musician, singer, songwriter, composer, actor, and radio host who was best known as the co-founder, lyricist, rhythm guitarist, and co-lead vo ...
,
Billy Bragg Stephen William Bragg (born 20 December 1957) is an English singer-songwriter and left-wing Left-wing politics supports social equality and egalitarianism Egalitarianism (), or equalitarianism, is a school of thought within polit ...

Billy Bragg
,
Jerry Garcia Jerome John Garcia (August 1, 1942 – August 9, 1995) was an American guitarist, singer and songwriter, best known for being a principal songwriter, the lead guitarist and a vocalist with the rock band the Grateful Dead The Grateful Dead ...
,
Bob Weir Robert Hall Weir ( ; né Parber, born October 16, 1947) is an American musician and songwriter best known as a founding member of the rock band Grateful Dead. After the Grateful Dead disbanded in 1995, Weir performed with The Other Ones, later ...

Bob Weir
,
Jeff Tweedy Jeffrey Scot Tweedy (born August 25, 1967) is an American musician, songwriter, author, and record producer best known as the Singing, singer and guitarist of the band Wilco. Tweedy, originally from Belleville, Illinois, started his music career ...

Jeff Tweedy
,
Tom Paxton Thomas Richard Paxton (born October 31, 1937) is an American folk Folk or Folks may refer to: Sociology *Nation *People * Folklore ** Folk art ** Folk dance ** Folk hero ** Folk music *** Folk metal *** Folk punk *** Folk rock *** British folk ...
,
Brian Fallon Brian Fallon (born January 28, 1980) is an American singer-songwriter and musician. He is best known as the lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist, and main lyricist of the rock band The Gaslight Anthem The Gaslight Anthem is an American rock band ...

Brian Fallon
, and Sixto Rodríguez . He frequently performed with the message "
This machine kills fascists "This machine kills fascists" is a message that Woody Guthrie Woodrow Wilson Guthrie (; July 14, 1912 – October 3, 1967) was an American singer-songwriter, who is considered to be one of the most significant figures in American folk musi ...
" displayed on his guitar. Guthrie was brought up by middle-class parents in
Okemah, Oklahoma Okemah ( or ) is the largest city in and the county seat of Okfuskee County, Oklahoma, Okfuskee County, Oklahoma, United States. It is the birthplace of folk music legend Woody Guthrie. Thlopthlocco Tribal Town, a federally recognized Muscogee Ind ...
, until he was 14, when his mother Nora was hospitalized as a consequence of
Huntington's disease Huntington's disease (HD), also known as Huntington's chorea, is a neurodegenerative disease that is mostly Genetic disorder#Autosomal dominant, inherited. The earliest symptoms are often subtle problems with mood or mental abilities. A gener ...
, a fatal hereditary
neurological disorder A neurological disorder is any disorder of the nervous system In biology, the classical doctrine of the nervous system determines that it is a Complex system, highly complex part of an animal that coordinates its Behavior, actions and Sen ...
. His father moved to
Pampa, Texas Ironing in the kitchen, ca. 1900, White Deer Museum Pampa (from the Quechuan languages, Quechua: ''pampa'', meaning "plain") is a city in Gray County, Texas, United States. Its population was 17,994 as of the 2010 United States Census, 2010 cens ...
, to repay debts from unsuccessful real estate deals. During his early teens, Guthrie learned folk and blues songs from his parents' friends. He married at 19, but with the advent of the
dust storms A dust storm, also called sandstorm, is a meteorological phenomenon common in arid A region is arid when it is characterized by a severe lack of available water, to the extent of hindering or preventing the growth and development of pl ...
that marked the
Dust Bowl The Dust Bowl was a period of severe dust storm A dust storm, also called a sandstorm, is a meteorological phenomenon common in arid A region is arid when it is characterized by a severe lack of available water, to the extent o ...
period, he left his wife and three children to join the thousands of Okies who were migrating to California looking for employment. He worked at Los Angeles radio station
KFVD KTNQ ("1020 KTNQ AM") is a Radio broadcasting, radio station city of license, licensed to Los Angeles, California, with a Spanish language, Spanish All-news radio, News/Talk radio, Talk format. It is owned by Univision Communications. From its ori ...
, achieving some fame from playing
hillbilly music "Hillbilly" is a term (often derogatory) for people who dwell in rural A rural landscape in Lappeenranta, South Karelia, Finland. 15 July 2000.">South_Karelia.html" ;"title="Lappeenranta, South Karelia">Lappeenranta, South Karelia, Finlan ...
, made friends with
Will Geer Will Geer (born William Aughe Ghere, March 9, 1902 – April 22, 1978) was an American actor, musician, and social activist, who was active in labor organizing and other movements in New York and Southern California Southern California (popular ...
and
John Steinbeck John Ernst Steinbeck Jr. (; February 27, 1902 – December 20, 1968) was an American author and the 1962 Nobel Prize in Literature ) , image = Nobel Prize.png , caption = , awarded_for = Outstanding contributions in literatu ...

John Steinbeck
, and wrote a column for the
communist Communism (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Repu ...

communist
newspaper ''
People's World ''People's World'', official successor to the ''Daily Worker'', is a Marxist Marxism is a method of socioeconomic analysis that uses a materialist interpretation of historical development, better known as historical materialism, to understand ...
'' from May 1939 to January 1940. Throughout his life, Guthrie was associated with
United States communist
United States communist
groups, although he did not appear to belong to any. With the outbreak of World War II and the
non-aggression pact A non-aggression pact or neutrality pact is a treaty A treaty is a formal legally binding written agreement between actors in international law. It is usually entered into by sovereign states and international organizations, but can sometime ...
the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a of multiple national ; in practice and were highly until its final years. The ...
had signed with Germany in 1939, the anti-Stalin owners of KFVD radio were not comfortable with Guthrie's political leanings after he wrote a song praising the
Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact , long_name = , image = Bundesarchiv Bild 183-H27337, Moskau, Stalin und Ribbentrop im Kreml.jpg , image_width = 200 , caption = Joseph Stalin, Stalin and Joachim von Ribbentrop, Ribbentrop shaking hands after the signing of the pact in the Mos ...
and the Soviet partition of Poland."Woody Guthrie's `Union War'", Will Kaufman, ''Hungarian Journal of English and American Studies (HJEAS),'' Spring-Fall 2010, Vol. 16, No. 1/2, pp. 109-124, http://www.jstor.com/stable/43921756. He left the station, ending up in New York where he wrote and recorded his 1940 album ''
Dust Bowl Ballads ''Dust Bowl Ballads'' is an album packaged in book form, like a photograph album An album is a collection of audio recordings issued as a collection on compact disc (CD), Phonograph record, vinyl, audio tape, or another medium. Albums of ...
'', based on his experiences during the 1930s, which earned him the nickname the "Dust Bowl Troubadour". In February 1940 he wrote his most famous song, "
This Land Is Your Land 261px, Woody Guthrie in March 1943 "This Land Is Your Land" is one of the United States' most famous folk songs. Its lyrics were written by American folk singer Woody Guthrie Woodrow Wilson Guthrie (; July 14, 1912 – October 3, 1967) ...
". He said it was a response to what he felt was the overplaying of
Irving Berlin Irving Berlin (born Israel Beilin; yi, ישראל ביילין; May 11, 1888 – September 22, 1989) was a Russian American composer and lyricist, widely considered one of the greatest songwriters in history. His music forms a great part of th ...
's "
God Bless America "God Bless America" is an American patriotic song written by Irving Berlin Irving Berlin (born Israel Beilin; yi, ישראל ביילין; May 11, 1888 – September 22, 1989) was an American composer and lyricist, widely considered one of ...
" on the radio. Guthrie was married three times and fathered eight children. His son
Arlo Guthrie Arlo Davy Guthrie (born July 10, 1947) is a retired American folk Folk or Folks may refer to: Sociology *Nation *People * Folklore ** Folk art ** Folk dance ** Folk hero ** Folk music *** Folk metal *** Folk punk *** Folk rock *** British folk r ...
became nationally known as a musician. Woody died in 1967 from complications of
Huntington's disease Huntington's disease (HD), also known as Huntington's chorea, is a neurodegenerative disease that is mostly Genetic disorder#Autosomal dominant, inherited. The earliest symptoms are often subtle problems with mood or mental abilities. A gener ...
. His first two daughters also died of the disease. During his later years, in spite of his illness, Guthrie became an icon in the folk movement, providing inspiration to a generation of new folk and country musicians, including mentoring
Ramblin' Jack Elliott Ramblin' Jack Elliott (born Elliot Charles Adnopoz; August 1, 1931) is an American folk Folk or Folks may refer to: Sociology *Nation *People * Folklore ** Folk art ** Folk dance ** Folk hero ** Folk music *** Folk metal *** Folk punk *** Folk ...
and
Bob Dylan Bob Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman; May 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter, author and visual artist. Often regarded as one of the greatest songwriters of all time, Dylan has been a major figure in for more than 50 years. Much of ...

Bob Dylan
.


Biography


Early life: 1912–31

Guthrie was born July 14, 1912, in Okemah, a small town in
Okfuskee County, Oklahoma Okfuskee County is a County (United States), county located in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. As of the 2010 United States Census, 2010 census, its population was 12,191. Its county seat is Okemah, Oklahoma, Okemah. The county is named for a former Mu ...
, the son of Nora Belle (née Sherman) and Charles Edward Guthrie.Reitwiesner, William Addams
Ancestry of Arlo Guthrie.
Retrieved on November 7, 2007.
His parents named him after
Woodrow Wilson Thomas Woodrow Wilson (December 28, 1856February 3, 1924) was an American politician and academic who served as the 28th president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of gove ...

Woodrow Wilson
, then Governor of New Jersey and the
Democratic Democrat, Democrats, or Democratic may refer to: *A proponent of democracy Democracy ( gr, δημοκρατία, ''dēmokratiā'', from ''dēmos'' 'people' and ''kratos'' 'rule') is a form of government in which people, the people have the a ...
candidate who was elected as President of the United States in fall 1912. Charles Guthrie was an industrious businessman, owning at one time up to of land in Okfuskee County. He was actively involved in Oklahoma politics and was a conservative Democratic candidate for office in the county. Charles Guthrie was reportedly involved in the 1911 lynching of Laura and L. D. Nelson. (Woody Guthrie wrote three songs about the event in the 1960s. He said that his father, Charles, became a member of the
Ku Klux Klan The Ku Klux Klan (), commonly shortened to the KKK or the Klan, is an American white supremacist White supremacy or white supremacism is the belief that white people White is a racial classification and skin color specifier, gene ...
during its revival beginning in 1915.) Three significant fires occurred during Guthrie's early life. There was one in 1909 that caused the loss of his family's home in Okemah, a month after the house was completed. When Guthrie was seven, his sister Clara died after setting her clothes on fire during an argument with her mother, and, later, in 1927, their father was severely burned in a fire at home. Guthrie's mother, Nora, was afflicted with
Huntington's disease Huntington's disease (HD), also known as Huntington's chorea, is a neurodegenerative disease that is mostly Genetic disorder#Autosomal dominant, inherited. The earliest symptoms are often subtle problems with mood or mental abilities. A gener ...
, although the family did not know this at the time. What they could see was
dementia Dementia manifests as a set of related symptoms, which usually surface when the brain is damaged by injury or disease. The symptoms Signs and symptoms are the observed or detectable signs, and experienced symptoms of an illness, injury, or ...
and muscular degeneration. When Woody was 14, Nora was committed to the Oklahoma Hospital for the Insane. At the time his father Charley was living and working in
Pampa, Texas Ironing in the kitchen, ca. 1900, White Deer Museum Pampa (from the Quechuan languages, Quechua: ''pampa'', meaning "plain") is a city in Gray County, Texas, United States. Its population was 17,994 as of the 2010 United States Census, 2010 cens ...
, to repay debts from unsuccessful real estate deals. Woody and his siblings were on their own in Oklahoma; they relied on their eldest brother Roy for support. The 14-year-old Woody Guthrie worked odd jobs around Okemah, begging meals and sometimes sleeping at the homes of family friends. Guthrie had a natural affinity for music, learning old ballads and traditional English and
Scottish songs Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. Covering the northern third of the island of Great Britain, mainland Scotland has a 96-mile (154 km) Anglo- ...
from the parents of friends. Guthrie befriended an African-American named George, who played blues on his harmonica. After listening to George play, Guthrie bought his own harmonica and began playing along with him. He used to busk for money and food. Although Guthrie did not do well as a student and dropped out of high school in his senior year before graduation, his teachers described him as bright. He was an avid reader on a wide range of topics. In 1929, Guthrie's father sent for Woody to join him in Texas, but little changed for the aspiring musician. Guthrie, then 18, was reluctant to attend high school classes in Pampa; he spent most of his time learning songs by
busking Street performance or busking is the act of performing in public places for gratuity, gratuities. In many countries, the rewards are generally in the form of money but other gratuities such as food, drink or gifts may be given. Street performa ...

busking
on the streets and reading in the library at Pampa's city hall. He regularly played at dances with his father's half-brother Jeff Guthrie, a fiddle player. His mother died in 1930 of complications of Huntington's disease while still in the Oklahoma Hospital for the Insane.


1930s


Marriage and family

At age 19, Guthrie met and married his first wife, Mary Jennings, in Texas in 1931. They had three children together: Gwendolyn, Sue, and Bill. Bill died at age 23 as the result of an automobile accident. Each daughter died of Huntington's disease at the age of 41, in the 1970s, evidently passed on from their father, although Guthrie himself was not diagnosed with the condition until much later in life. Guthrie and Mary divorced in 1940. He married twice more, to Marjorie Greenblatt (1945–53), and Anneke Van Kirkand (1953–56), having a total of eight children.


California

During the
Dust Bowl The Dust Bowl was a period of severe dust storm A dust storm, also called a sandstorm, is a meteorological phenomenon common in arid A region is arid when it is characterized by a severe lack of available water, to the extent o ...
period, Guthrie joined the thousands of Okies and others who migrated to California to look for work, leaving his wife and children in Texas. Many of his songs are concerned with the conditions faced by working-class people. During the latter part of that decade, he achieved fame with radio partner Maxine "Lefty Lou" Crissman as a broadcast performer of commercial
hillbilly "Hillbilly" is a term (often derogatory) for people who dwell in rural A rural landscape in Lappeenranta, South Karelia, Finland. 15 July 2000.">South_Karelia.html" ;"title="Lappeenranta, South Karelia">Lappeenranta, South Karelia, Finlan ...
music and traditional folk music. Guthrie was making enough money to send for his family to join him from Texas. While appearing on the radio station
KFVD KTNQ ("1020 KTNQ AM") is a Radio broadcasting, radio station city of license, licensed to Los Angeles, California, with a Spanish language, Spanish All-news radio, News/Talk radio, Talk format. It is owned by Univision Communications. From its ori ...
, owned by a populist-minded
New Deal The New Deal was a series of programs, public work projects, financial reforms, and regulations Regulation is the management of complex systems according to a set of rules and trends. In systems theory Systems theory is the interdisciplina ...
Democrat, , Guthrie began to write and perform some of the protest songs that he eventually released on his album ''
Dust Bowl Ballads ''Dust Bowl Ballads'' is an album packaged in book form, like a photograph album An album is a collection of audio recordings issued as a collection on compact disc (CD), Phonograph record, vinyl, audio tape, or another medium. Albums of ...
''. While at KFVD, Guthrie met newscaster Ed Robbin. Robbin was impressed with a song Guthrie wrote about political activist
Thomas Mooney Thomas Joseph "Tom" Mooney (December 8, 1882 – March 6, 1942) was an American political activist and labor leader, who was convicted with Warren K. Billings of the San Francisco Preparedness Day Bombing of 1916. Believed by many to have been ...
, wrongly convicted in a case that was a
cause célèbre A cause célèbre (,''Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged'', 12th Edition, 2014. S.v. "cause célèbre". Retrieved November 30, 2018 from https://www.thefreedictionary.com/cause+c%c3%a9l%c3%a8bre ,''Random House Kernerman Webster ...
of the time. Robbin, who became Guthrie's political mentor, introduced Guthrie to socialists and Communists in Southern California, including
Will Geer Will Geer (born William Aughe Ghere, March 9, 1902 – April 22, 1978) was an American actor, musician, and social activist, who was active in labor organizing and other movements in New York and Southern California Southern California (popular ...
. (He introduced Guthrie to writer
John Steinbeck John Ernst Steinbeck Jr. (; February 27, 1902 – December 20, 1968) was an American author and the 1962 Nobel Prize in Literature ) , image = Nobel Prize.png , caption = , awarded_for = Outstanding contributions in literatu ...

John Steinbeck
). Robbin remained Guthrie's lifelong friend, and helped Guthrie book benefit performances in the communist circles in Southern California. Notwithstanding Guthrie's later claim that "the best thing that I did in 1936 was to sign up with the Communist Party", he was never a member of the party. He was noted as a
fellow traveler The term ''fellow traveller'' (also ''fellow traveler'') identifies a person who is intellectually sympathetic to the ideology of a political organization, and who co-operates in the organization's politics, without being a formal member of that o ...
—an outsider who agreed with the platform of the party while avoiding party discipline. Guthrie wrote a column for the communist newspaper, ''
People's World ''People's World'', official successor to the ''Daily Worker'', is a Marxist Marxism is a method of socioeconomic analysis that uses a materialist interpretation of historical development, better known as historical materialism, to understand ...
''. The column, titled "Woody Sez", appeared a total of 174 times from May 1939 to January 1940. "Woody Sez" was not explicitly political, but was about current events as observed by Guthrie. He wrote the columns in an exaggerated hillbilly dialect and usually included a small comic. These columns were published posthumously as a collection after Guthrie's death.
Steve Earle Stephen Fain Earle () (born January 17, 1955) is an American rock, country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, ...
said of Guthrie, "I don't think of Woody Guthrie as a political writer. He was a writer who lived in very political times." With the outbreak of World War II and publicity about the
non-aggression pact A non-aggression pact or neutrality pact is a treaty A treaty is a formal legally binding written agreement between actors in international law. It is usually entered into by sovereign states and international organizations, but can sometime ...
the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a of multiple national ; in practice and were highly until its final years. The ...
had signed with Germany in 1939, the owners of KFVD radio did not want its staff "spinning apologia" for the Soviet Union. It fired both Robbin and Guthrie. Without the daily radio show, Guthrie's employment chances declined, and he returned with his family to Pampa, Texas. Although Mary was happy to return to Texas, Guthrie preferred to accept Will Geer's invitation to New York City and headed east.


1940s: Building a legacy


New York City

Arriving in New York, Guthrie, known as "the Oklahoma cowboy", was embraced by its folk music community. For a time, he slept on a couch in
Will Geer Will Geer (born William Aughe Ghere, March 9, 1902 – April 22, 1978) was an American actor, musician, and social activist, who was active in labor organizing and other movements in New York and Southern California Southern California (popular ...
's apartment. Guthrie made his first recordings—several hours of conversation and songs recorded by the folklorist
Alan Lomax Alan Lomax (; January 31, 1915 – July 19, 2002) was an American ethnomusicologist Ethnomusicology is the study of music from the cultural and social aspects of the people who make it. It encompasses distinct theoretical and methodical a ...

Alan Lomax
for the
Library of Congress The Library of Congress (LC) is the research library A library is a collection of materials, books or media that are easily accessible for use and not just for display purposes. It is responsible for housing updated information in order ...

Library of Congress
—as well as an album, ''
Dust Bowl Ballads ''Dust Bowl Ballads'' is an album packaged in book form, like a photograph album An album is a collection of audio recordings issued as a collection on compact disc (CD), Phonograph record, vinyl, audio tape, or another medium. Albums of ...
,'' for
Victor Records The Victor Talking Machine Company was an American recording company and phonograph manufacturer headquartered in Camden, New Jersey. It was the largest and most prestigious firm of its kind in the world, perhaps best known for its use of the f ...
in
Camden, New Jersey Camden is a City (New Jersey), city in and the county seat of Camden County, New Jersey, in the United States. Camden is located directly across the Delaware River from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At the 2010 U.S. Census, the city had a populati ...
. In February 1940, he wrote his most famous song, "
This Land Is Your Land 261px, Woody Guthrie in March 1943 "This Land Is Your Land" is one of the United States' most famous folk songs. Its lyrics were written by American folk singer Woody Guthrie Woodrow Wilson Guthrie (; July 14, 1912 – October 3, 1967) ...
", as a response to what he felt was an overplaying of
Irving Berlin Irving Berlin (born Israel Beilin; yi, ישראל ביילין; May 11, 1888 – September 22, 1989) was a Russian American composer and lyricist, widely considered one of the greatest songwriters in history. His music forms a great part of th ...
's "
God Bless America "God Bless America" is an American patriotic song written by Irving Berlin Irving Berlin (born Israel Beilin; yi, ישראל ביילין; May 11, 1888 – September 22, 1989) was an American composer and lyricist, widely considered one of ...
" on the radio. Guthrie thought the lyrics were unrealistic and complacent. He adapted the melody from an old gospel song, "Oh My Loving Brother", which had been adapted by the country group the
Carter Family The Carter Family is a traditional American folk music group that recorded between 1927 and 1956. Their music had a profound impact on bluegrass music, bluegrass, country music, country, Southern Gospel, popular music, pop and rock musicians a ...
for their song "Little Darling Pal Of Mine". Guthrie signed the manuscript with the comment, "All you can write is what you see." Although the song was written in 1940, it was four years before he recorded it for
Moses Asch Moses Asch (December 2, 1905 – October 19, 1986), often known as Moe Asch, was an American recording engineer and record executive. He founded Asch Records, which then changed its name to Folkways Records Folkways Records was a record label f ...
in April 1944. Sheet music was produced and given to schools by
Howie Richmond Howard Spencer Richmond (18 January 1918 — 20 May 2012) was an American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of Americ ...
sometime later. In March 1940, Guthrie was invited to play at a benefit hosted by the John Steinbeck Committee to Aid Farm Workers, to raise money for migrant workers. There he met the folksinger
Pete Seeger Peter Seeger (May 3, 1919 – January 27, 2014) was an American folk singer and social activist Activism consists of efforts to promote, impede, direct, or intervene in social, political, economic, or environmental reform with the d ...

Pete Seeger
, and the two men became good friends. Seeger accompanied Guthrie back to Texas to meet other members of the Guthrie family. He recalled an awkward conversation with Mary Guthrie's mother, in which she asked for Seeger's help to persuade Guthrie to treat her daughter better. From April 1940, Guthrie and Seeger lived together in the Greenwich Village loft of sculptor Harold Ambellan and his fiancee. Guthrie had some success in New York at this time as a guest on
CBS CBS is an American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S ...

CBS
's radio program ''Back Where I Come From'' and used his influence to get a spot on the show for his friend . Ledbetter's Tenth Street apartment was a gathering spot for the musician circle in New York at the time, and Guthrie and Ledbetter were good friends, as they had busked together at bars in Harlem. In November 1941, Seeger introduced Guthrie to his friend the poet
Charles Olson Charles Olson (27 December 1910 – 10 January 1970) was a second generation modern American poet The poets listed below were either born in the United States or else published much of their poetry while living in that country. A B C ...
, then a junior editor at the fledgling magazine '' Common Ground''. The meeting led to Guthrie writing the article "Ear Players" in the Spring 1942 issue of the magazine. The article marked Guthrie's debut as a published writer in the mainstream media. In September 1940, Guthrie was invited by the Model Tobacco Company to host their radio program ''Pipe Smoking Time''. Guthrie was paid $180 a week, an impressive salary in 1940. He was finally making enough money to send regular payments back to Mary. He also brought her and the children to New York, where the family lived briefly in an apartment on
Central Park West Eighth Avenue is a major north–south avenue on the west side of Manhattan Manhattan (), known regionally as ''The City'', is the most densely populated and geographically smallest of the five boroughs 5 is a number, numeral, and gly ...
. The reunion represented Woody's desire to be a better father and husband. He said, "I have to set real hard to think of being a dad." Guthrie quit after the seventh broadcast, claiming he had begun to feel the show was too restrictive when he was told what to sing. Disgruntled with New York, Guthrie packed up Mary and his children in a new car and headed west to California. Choreographer Sophie Maslow developed '' Folksay'' as an elaborate mix of modern dance and ballet, which combined folk songs by Woody Guthrie with text from
Carl Sandburg Carl August Sandburg (January 6, 1878 – July 22, 1967) was an American poet, biographer, journalist, and editor. He won three Pulitzer Prizes: two for his poetry and one for his biography of Abraham Lincoln Abraham Lincoln (; Febr ...

Carl Sandburg
's 1936 book-length poem ''
The People, Yes ''The People, Yes'' is a book-length poem written by Carl Sandburg and published in 1936. The 300 page work is thoroughly interspersed with references to American culture, phrases, and stories (such as the legend of Paul Bunyan). Published at the h ...
''. The premiere took place in March 1942 at the Humphrey-Weidman Studio Theatre in New York City. Guthrie provided live music for the performance, which featured Maslow and her New Dance Group. Two-and-a-half years later, Maslow brought '' Folksay'' to early television under the direction of Leo Hurwitz. The same group performed the ballet live in front of
CBS CBS is an American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S ...

CBS
TV cameras. The 30-minute broadcast aired on WCBW, the pioneer CBS television station in New York City (now
WCBS-TV WCBS-TV, virtual channel In most telecommunications Telecommunication is the transmission of information by various types of technologies over , radio, , or other systems. It has its origin in the desire of humans for communication o ...
), from 8:15–8:45 pm ET on November 24, 1944. Featured were Maslow and the New Dance Group, which included among others Jane Dudley, Pearl Primus, and William Bales. Woody Guthrie and fellow folksinger Tony Kraber played guitar, sang songs, and read text from ''The People, Yes''. The program received positive reviews and was performed on television over WCBW a second time in early 1945.


Pacific Northwest

In May 1941, after a brief stay in Los Angeles, Guthrie moved to
Portland, Oregon Portland (, ) is the list of cities in Oregon, largest and most populous city in the U.S. state of Oregon, and the county seat, seat of Multnomah County, Oregon, Multnomah County. It is a major port in the Willamette Valley region of the Pacif ...

Portland, Oregon
, in the neighborhood of Lents, on the promise of a job.
Gunther von Fritsch Gunther von Fritsch (15 July 1906, Pula – 27 August 1988, Pasadena, California, Pasadena) was an American film director born in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Biography Gunther von Fritsch was born 15 July 1906 in Pula. He studied in Paris, and in ...
was directing a documentary about the
Bonneville Power Administration The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) is an American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), commo ...
's construction of the
Grand Coulee Dam Grand Coulee Dam is a concrete gravity dam on the Columbia River The Columbia River (Upper Chinook language, Upper Chinook: ' or '; Sahaptin language, Sahaptin: ''Nch’i-Wàna'' or ''Nchi wana''; Sinixt dialect'' '') is the largest river ...

Grand Coulee Dam
on the
Columbia River The Columbia River (Upper Chinook Upper Chinook, endonym Kiksht, also known as Columbia Chinook, and Wasco-Wishram after its last surviving dialect, is a recently extinct language of the US Pacific Northwest. It had 69 speakers in 1990, of w ...

Columbia River
, and needed a narrator. Alan Lomax had recommended Guthrie to narrate the film and sing songs onscreen. The original project was expected to take 12 months, but as filmmakers became worried about casting such a political figure, they minimized Guthrie's role. The
Department of the Interior The United States Department of the Interior (DOI) is a federal executive department of the U.S. government The federal government of the United States (U.S. federal government or U.S. government) is the national government of the U ...
hired him for one month to write songs about the
Columbia River The Columbia River (Upper Chinook Upper Chinook, endonym Kiksht, also known as Columbia Chinook, and Wasco-Wishram after its last surviving dialect, is a recently extinct language of the US Pacific Northwest. It had 69 speakers in 1990, of w ...

Columbia River
and the construction of the federal dams for the documentary's soundtrack. Guthrie toured the Columbia River and the Pacific Northwest. Guthrie said he "couldn't believe it, it's a paradise", which appeared to inspire him creatively. In one month Guthrie wrote 26 songs, including three of his most famous: "
Roll On, Columbia, Roll On "Roll On, Columbia, Roll On" is an American folk song Folk music is a music genre A music genre is a conventional category that identifies some pieces of music Music is the art of arranging sounds in time to produce a composition ...
", " Pastures of Plenty", and "
Grand Coulee Dam Grand Coulee Dam is a concrete gravity dam on the Columbia River The Columbia River (Upper Chinook language, Upper Chinook: ' or '; Sahaptin language, Sahaptin: ''Nch’i-Wàna'' or ''Nchi wana''; Sinixt dialect'' '') is the largest river ...
". The surviving songs were released as '' Columbia River Songs''. The film "Columbia" was not completed until 1949 (see below). At the conclusion of the month in Oregon and Washington, Guthrie wanted to return to New York. Tired of the continual uprooting, Mary Guthrie told him to go without her and the children. Although Guthrie would see Mary again, once on a tour through Los Angeles with the Almanac Singers, it was essentially the end of their marriage. Divorce was difficult, since Mary was a member of the
Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Baptism (from the Greek language, Greek noun βάπτισμα ''báptisma'') is a Christians, Christian ...

Catholic Church
, but she reluctantly agreed in December 1943.


Almanac Singers

Following the conclusion of his work in the Northwest, Guthrie corresponded with
Pete Seeger Peter Seeger (May 3, 1919 – January 27, 2014) was an American folk singer and social activist Activism consists of efforts to promote, impede, direct, or intervene in social, political, economic, or environmental reform with the d ...

Pete Seeger
about Seeger's newly formed folk-protest group, the
Almanac Singers The Almanac Singers was an American New York City-based folk music group, active between 1940 and 1943, founded by Millard Lampell, Lee Hays, Pete Seeger, and Woody Guthrie. The group specialized in topical songs, mostly songs advocating an anti-w ...
. Guthrie returned to New York with plans to tour the country as a member of the group. The singers originally worked out of a loft in New York City hosting regular concerts called "
hootenannies Hootenanny is an Appalachian colloquialism that was used in the early twentieth century United States, U.S. as a placeholder name to refer to things whose names were forgotten or unknown. In this usage it was synonymous with ''thingamajig'' or ''P ...
", a word Pete and Woody had picked up in their cross-country travels. The singers eventually outgrew the space and moved into the cooperative Almanac House in
Greenwich Village Greenwich Village ( , , ) is a neighborhood on the west side of Lower Manhattan Lower Manhattan, also known as Downtown Manhattan or Downtown New York, is the southernmost part of , the central for business, culture, and in . Lower Manh ...

Greenwich Village
. Initially, Guthrie helped write and sing what the Almanac Singers termed "peace" songs while the Nazi-Soviet Pact was in effect. After Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union, the group wrote anti-fascist songs. The members of the Almanac Singers and residents of the Almanac House were a loosely defined group of musicians, though the core members included Guthrie,
Pete Seeger Peter Seeger (May 3, 1919 – January 27, 2014) was an American folk singer and social activist Activism consists of efforts to promote, impede, direct, or intervene in social, political, economic, or environmental reform with the d ...

Pete Seeger
,
Millard Lampell Millard Lampell (January 23, 1919 – October 3, 1997) was an American movie and television screenwriter who first became publicly known as a member of the Almanac Singers in the 1940s. He was born in Paterson, New Jersey and studied at the West Vi ...
and
Lee Hays Lee Hays (March 14, 1914 – August 26, 1981) was an American folk-singer and songwriter, best known for singing bass with the Weavers. Throughout his life, he was concerned with overcoming racism Racism is the belief that groups of ...
. In keeping with common utopian ideals, meals, chores and rent at the Almanac House were shared. The Sunday hootenannies were good opportunities to collect donation money for rent. Songs written in the Almanac House had shared songwriting credits among all the members, although in the case of " Union Maid", members would later state that Guthrie wrote the song, ensuring that his children would receive residuals. In the Almanac House, Guthrie added authenticity to their work, since he was a "real" working class Oklahoman. "There was the heart of America personified in Woody ... And for a New York Left that was primarily Jewish, first or second generation American, and was desperately trying to get Americanized, I think a figure like Woody was of great, great importance," a friend of the group,
Irwin Silber Irwin Silber (October 17, 1925 – September 8, 2010) was an American Communist Communism (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spo ...
, would say. Woody routinely emphasized his working-class image, rejected songs he felt were not in the country blues vein he was familiar with, and rarely contributed to household chores. House member Agnes "Sis" Cunningham, another Okie, would later recall that Woody "loved people to think of him as a real working class person and not an intellectual". Guthrie contributed songwriting and authenticity in much the same capacity for Pete Seeger's post-Almanac Singers project ''
People's Songs People's Songs was an organization founded by Pete Seeger, Alan Lomax, Lee Hays, and others on December 31, 1945, in New York City, to "create, promote, and distribute songs of labor and the United States, American people."People's Songs Inc. ''Pe ...
'', a newsletter and booking organization for labor singers, founded in 1945.People's Songs Inc. ''People's Songs Newsletter, Vol 1. No 1.''. 1945.
Old Town School of Folk Music The Old Town School of Folk Music is a Chicago teaching and performing institution that launched the careers of many notable folk music artists. Founded by Folk musicians Frank Hamilton (musician), Frank Hamilton and Win Stracke, and Dawn Greening ...
resource center collection.


''Bound for Glory''

Guthrie was a prolific writer, penning thousands of pages of unpublished poems and prose, many written while living in New York City. After a recording session with Alan Lomax, Lomax suggested Guthrie write an autobiography. Lomax thought Guthrie's descriptions of growing up were some of the best accounts he had read of American childhood. During this time Guthrie met Marjorie Mazia (the professional name of Marjorie Greenblatt), a dancer in New York who would become his second wife. Mazia was an instructor at the Martha Graham Dance School, where she was assisting Sophie Maslow with her piece ''Folksay''. Based on the folklore and poetry collected by
Carl Sandburg Carl August Sandburg (January 6, 1878 – July 22, 1967) was an American poet, biographer, journalist, and editor. He won three Pulitzer Prizes: two for his poetry and one for his biography of Abraham Lincoln Abraham Lincoln (; Febr ...

Carl Sandburg
, ''Folksay'' included the adaptation of some of Guthrie's ''Dust Bowl Ballads'' for the dance. Guthrie continued to write songs and began work on his autobiography. The end product, ''Bound for Glory'', was completed with the editing assistance of Mazia and was first published by E.P. Dutton in 1943. It is told in the artist's down-home dialect. The ''Library Journal'' complained about the "too careful reproduction of illiterate speech".LaBorie, Tim
Woody Guthrie biography.
MusicianGuide.com. Retrieved January 8, 2008.
However, Clifton Fadiman, reviewing the book in ''
The New Yorker ''The New Yorker'' is an American weekly magazine featuring journalism Journalism is the production and distribution of report Image:Hurt Report cover page.png, 220px, Example of a front page of a report A report is a document that pr ...

The New Yorker
'', remarked that "Someday people are going to wake up to the fact that Woody Guthrie and the ten thousand songs that leap and tumble off the strings of his music box are a national possession, like
Yellowstone Yellowstone National Park is an American national park located in the western United States, largely in the northwest corner of Wyoming and extending into Montana and Idaho. It was established by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by ...

Yellowstone
and
Yosemite Yosemite National Park ( ) is an American national park#REDIRECT National park A national park is a park in use for Conservation (ethic), conservation purposes, created and protected by national governments. Often it is a reserve of natur ...

Yosemite
, and part of the best stuff this country has to show the world." This book was the basis for the movie '' Bound for Glory'', starring
David Carradine David Carradine ( ; born John Arthur Carradine Jr.; December 8, 1936 – June 3, 2009) was an American actor best known for playing martial arts Martial arts are codified systems and traditions of combat Combat (French language, French ...
, which won the 1976
Academy Award for Original Music Score An academy (Attic Greek Attic Greek is the Greek language, Greek dialect of the regions of ancient Greece, ancient region of Attica, including the ''polis'' of classical Athens, Athens. Often called classical Greek, it was the prestige (sociolin ...
for Original Song Score and Its Adaptation or Adaptation Score, and the
National Board of Review Award for Best Actor The National Board of Review Award for Best Actor is one of the annual film awards given (since 1945) by the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures The National Board of Review of Motion Pictures is an organization in the United States ...
, among other accolades. In 1944, Guthrie met Moses "Moe" Asch of
Folkways Records Folkways Records was a record label A record label, or record company, is a brand A brand is a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers. Brands ...
, for whom he first recorded "This Land Is Your Land". Over the next few years, he recorded " Worried Man Blues", along with hundreds of other songs. These recordings would later be released by Folkways and Stinson Records, which had joint distribution rights. The Folkways recordings are available (through the Smithsonian Institution online shop); the most complete series of these sessions, culled from dates with Asch, is titled ''The Asch Recordings (Woody Guthrie Album), The Asch Recordings''.


World War II years

Guthrie believed performing his anti-fascist songs and poems in the United States was the best use of his talents. Labor for Victory: In April 1942, ''Time (magazine), Time'' magazine reported that the American Federation of Labor, AFL (American Federation of Labor) and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) had agreed to a joint radio production, called ''Labor for Victory''. NBC agreed to run the weekly segment as a "public service". The AFL and CIO presidents William Green (U.S. labor leader), William Green and Philip Murray agreed to let their press chiefs, Philip Pearl and Len De Caux, narrate on alternate weeks. The show ran on NBC radio on Saturdays 10:15–10:30 pm, starting on April 25, 1942. ''Time'' wrote, "De Caux and Pearl hope to make the Labor for Victory program popular enough for an indefinite run, using labor news, name speakers and interviews with workmen. Labor partisanship, they promise, is out." Writers for ''Labor for Victory'' included: Peter Lyon, a progressive journalist;
Millard Lampell Millard Lampell (January 23, 1919 – October 3, 1997) was an American movie and television screenwriter who first became publicly known as a member of the Almanac Singers in the 1940s. He was born in Paterson, New Jersey and studied at the West Vi ...
(born Allan Sloane), later an American movie and television screenwriter; and Morton Wishengrad, who worked for the AFL. For entertainment on CIO episodes, De Caux asked singer and songwriter Woody Guthrie to contribute to the show. "Personally, I would like to see a phonograph record made of your 'Girl in the Red, White, and Blue. The title appears in at least one collection of Guthrie records. Guthrie consented and performed solo two or three times on this program (among several other WWII radio shows, including ''Answering You'', ''Labor for Victory'', ''Jazz in America'', and ''We the People''). On August 29, 1942, he performed "The Farmer-Labor Train", with lyrics he had written to the tune of "Wabash Cannonball". (In 1948, he reworked the "Wabash Cannonball" melody as "The Wallace-Taylor Train" for the 1948 Progressive National Convention, which nominated former U.S. Vice President Henry A. Wallace for president.) The
Almanac Singers The Almanac Singers was an American New York City-based folk music group, active between 1940 and 1943, founded by Millard Lampell, Lee Hays, Pete Seeger, and Woody Guthrie. The group specialized in topical songs, mostly songs advocating an anti-w ...
(of which Guthrie and Lampell were co-founders) appeared on ''The Treasury Hour'' and CBS Radio's ''We the People''. The latter was later produced as a We the People (U.S. TV series), television series. (Also, Marc Blitzstein's papers show that Guthrie made some contributions to four CIO episodes (dated June 20, June 27, August 1, August 15, 1948) of ''Labor for Victory.'') While ''Labor for Victory'' was a milestone in theory as a national platform, in practice it proved less so. Only 35 of 104 NBC affiliates carried the show. Episodes included the announcement that the show represented "twelve million organized men and women, united in the high resolve to rid the world of Fascism in 1942". Speakers included Donald E. Montgomery, then "consumer's counselor" at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Merchant Marine: Guthrie lobbied the United States Army to accept him as a USO performer instead of conscripting him as a soldier in the draft. When Guthrie's attempts failed, his friends Cisco Houston and Jim Longhi persuaded the singer to join the United States Merchant Marine, U.S. Merchant Marine in June 1943. He made several voyages aboard merchant ships SS ''William B. Travis'', SS ''William Floyd'', and SS ''Sea Porpoise'', while they traveled in convoys during the Battle of the Atlantic. He served as a mess man and dishwasher, and frequently sang for the crew and troops to buoy their spirits on transatlantic voyages. His first ship, ''William B. Travis'', hit a mine in the Mediterranean Sea, which killed one person aboard, but it sailed to Bizerte, Tunisia under her own power. His last ship, ''Sea Porpoise'', took troops from the United States to England and France for the D-Day invasion. Guthrie was aboard when the ship was torpedoed off Utah Beach by the German submarine U-390 on July 5, 1944, injuring 12 of the crew. Guthrie was unhurt and the ship stayed afloat; it returned to England, where it was repaired at Newcastle upon Tyne, Newcastle. In July 1944, it returned to the United States. Guthrie was an active supporter of the National Maritime Union, one of many unions for wartime American merchant sailors. Guthrie wrote songs about his experience in the Merchant Marine but was never satisfied with them. Longhi later wrote about Guthrie's marine experiences in his book ''Woody, Cisco and Me''. The book offers a rare first-hand account of Guthrie during his United States Merchant Marine, Merchant Marine service. In 1945, the government decided that Guthrie's association with communism excluded him from further service in the Merchant Marine; he was drafted into the United States Army, U.S. Army. While he was on Wiktionary:furlough, furlough from the Army, Guthrie married Marjorie. After his discharge, they moved into a house on Mermaid Avenue in Coney Island and over time had four children: daughters Cathy and Nora Guthrie, Nora; and sons Arlo Guthrie, Arlo and Joady. Cathy died as a result of a fire at the age of four, and Guthrie suffered a serious depression from his grief. Arlo and Joady followed in their father's footsteps as singer-songwriters. When his family was young, Guthrie wrote and recorded ''Songs to Grow on for Mother and Child'', a collection of children's music, which includes the song "Goodnight Little Arlo (Goodnight Little Darlin')", written when Arlo was about nine years old. During 1947, he wrote ''House of Earth'', an historical novel containing explicit sexual material, about a couple who build a house made of clay and earth to withstand the
Dust Bowl The Dust Bowl was a period of severe dust storm A dust storm, also called a sandstorm, is a meteorological phenomenon common in arid A region is arid when it is characterized by a severe lack of available water, to the extent o ...
's brutal weather. He could not get it published. It was published posthumously in 2013, by Harper (publisher), Harper, under actor Johnny Depp's publishing imprint, Infinitum Nihil. Guthrie was also a prolific sketcher and painter, his images ranging from simple, impressionistic images to free and characterful drawings, typically of the people in his songs. In 1949, Guthrie's music was used in the documentary film ''Columbia River'', which explored government dams and hydroelectric projects on the river. Guthrie had been commissioned by the US
Bonneville Power Administration The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) is an American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), commo ...
in 1941 to write songs for the project, but it had been postponed by World War II.


Post-war: Mermaid Avenue

The years immediately after the war when he lived on Mermaid Avenue were among Guthrie's most productive as a writer. His extensive writings from this time were archived and maintained by Marjorie and later his estate, mostly handled by his daughter Nora. Several of the manuscripts also contain writing by a young Arlo and the other Guthrie children. During this time
Ramblin' Jack Elliott Ramblin' Jack Elliott (born Elliot Charles Adnopoz; August 1, 1931) is an American folk Folk or Folks may refer to: Sociology *Nation *People * Folklore ** Folk art ** Folk dance ** Folk hero ** Folk music *** Folk metal *** Folk punk *** Folk ...
studied extensively under Guthrie, visiting his home and observing how he wrote and performed. Elliott, like
Bob Dylan Bob Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman; May 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter, author and visual artist. Often regarded as one of the greatest songwriters of all time, Dylan has been a major figure in for more than 50 years. Much of ...

Bob Dylan
later, idolized Guthrie. He was inspired by the singer's idiomatic performance style and repertoire. Because of the decline caused by Guthrie's progressive
Huntington's disease Huntington's disease (HD), also known as Huntington's chorea, is a neurodegenerative disease that is mostly Genetic disorder#Autosomal dominant, inherited. The earliest symptoms are often subtle problems with mood or mental abilities. A gener ...
, Arlo Guthrie and Bob Dylan both later said that they had learned much of Guthrie's performance style from Elliott. When asked about this, Elliott said, "I was flattered. Dylan learned from me the same way I learned from Woody. Woody didn't teach me. He just said, If you want to learn something, just steal it—that's the way I learned from Lead Belly."


1950s and 1960s


Deteriorating health due to Huntington's

By the late 1940s, Guthrie's health was declining, and his behavior was becoming extremely erratic. He received various diagnoses (including alcoholism and schizophrenia). In 1952, it was finally determined that he was suffering from
Huntington's disease Huntington's disease (HD), also known as Huntington's chorea, is a neurodegenerative disease that is mostly Genetic disorder#Autosomal dominant, inherited. The earliest symptoms are often subtle problems with mood or mental abilities. A gener ...
, a genetic disorder inherited from his mother. Believing him to be a danger to their children because of his behavior, Marjorie suggested he return to California without her. They eventually divorced. Upon his return to California, Guthrie lived at the Theatricum Botanicum, a summer-stock type theatre founded and owned by
Will Geer Will Geer (born William Aughe Ghere, March 9, 1902 – April 22, 1978) was an American actor, musician, and social activist, who was active in labor organizing and other movements in New York and Southern California Southern California (popular ...
. Together with singers and actors who had been blacklisted by HUAC, he waited out the anti-communist political climate. As his health worsened, he met and married his third wife, Anneke Van Kirk. They had a child, Lorina Lynn. The couple moved to Fruit Cove, Florida, where they briefly lived. They lived in a bus on land called Beluthahatchee, owned by his friend Stetson Kennedy. Guthrie's arm was hurt in an accident when gasoline used to start the campfire exploded. Although he regained movement in the arm, he was never able to play the guitar again. In 1954, the couple returned to New York. Shortly after, Anneke filed for divorce, a result of the strain of caring for Guthrie. Van Kirk left New York after arranging for friends to adopt Lorina Lynn. Lorina had no further contact with her birth parents. She died in a car accident in California in 1973 at the age of 19. After the divorce, Guthrie's second wife, Marjorie, re-entered his life and cared for him until his death. Increasingly unable to control his muscles, Guthrie was hospitalized at Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital in Morris County, New Jersey, from 1956 to 1961; at Brooklyn State Hospital (now Kingsboro Psychiatric Center) in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, East Flatbush until 1966; and finally at Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in Queens Village, Queens, Queens Village, New York, until his death in 1967. Marjorie and the children visited Guthrie at Greystone every Sunday. They answered fan mail and the children played on the hospital grounds. Eventually, a longtime fan of Guthrie invited the family to his nearby home for the Sunday visits. This lasted until Guthrie was moved to the Brooklyn State Hospital, which was closer to Howard Beach, Queens, Howard Beach, New York, where Marjorie and the children then lived. During the final few years of his life, Guthrie had become isolated except for family. By 1965, he was unable to speak, often moving his arms or rolling his eyes to communicate. The progression of Huntington's threw Guthrie into extreme emotional states, causing him to lash out at those nearby and to damage a prized book collection of Anneke's. Huntington's symptoms include uncharacteristic aggression, emotional volatility, and social disinhibition. Guthrie's illness was essentially untreated, because of a lack of knowledge about the disease. Because of his professional renown, his death from this cause helped raise awareness of the disease. Marjorie helped found the Committee to Combat Huntington's Disease, which became the Huntington's Disease Society of America. None of Guthrie's three surviving children with Marjorie have developed symptoms of Huntington's. His son Bill with his first wife Mary Guthrie died in an auto-train accident in Pomona, California, at the age of 23. His and Mary's two daughters, Gwendolyn and Sue, both suffered from Huntington's disease. They each died at age 41.


Folk revival and death

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, a new generation of young people were inspired by folk singers such as Guthrie. These "folk revivalists" became more politically aware in their music than those of the previous generation. The American folk music revival, American Folk Revival was beginning to take place, focused on the issues of the day, such as the civil rights movement and Free Speech Movement. Pockets of folk singers were forming around the country in places such as Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the
Greenwich Village Greenwich Village ( , , ) is a neighborhood on the west side of Lower Manhattan Lower Manhattan, also known as Downtown Manhattan or Downtown New York, is the southernmost part of , the central for business, culture, and in . Lower Manh ...

Greenwich Village
neighborhood of New York City. One of Guthrie's visitors at Greystone Park was the 19-year-old
Bob Dylan Bob Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman; May 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter, author and visual artist. Often regarded as one of the greatest songwriters of all time, Dylan has been a major figure in for more than 50 years. Much of ...

Bob Dylan
, who idolized Guthrie. Dylan wrote of Guthrie's repertoire: "The songs themselves were really beyond category. They had the infinite sweep of humanity in them." After learning of Guthrie's whereabouts, Dylan regularly visited him. Woody Guthrie died of complications of
Huntington's disease Huntington's disease (HD), also known as Huntington's chorea, is a neurodegenerative disease that is mostly Genetic disorder#Autosomal dominant, inherited. The earliest symptoms are often subtle problems with mood or mental abilities. A gener ...
on October 3, 1967. By the time of his death, his work had been discovered by a new audience, introduced to them through Dylan,
Pete Seeger Peter Seeger (May 3, 1919 – January 27, 2014) was an American folk singer and social activist Activism consists of efforts to promote, impede, direct, or intervene in social, political, economic, or environmental reform with the d ...

Pete Seeger
,
Ramblin' Jack Elliott Ramblin' Jack Elliott (born Elliot Charles Adnopoz; August 1, 1931) is an American folk Folk or Folks may refer to: Sociology *Nation *People * Folklore ** Folk art ** Folk dance ** Folk hero ** Folk music *** Folk metal *** Folk punk *** Folk ...
, his ex-wife Marjorie and other new members of the folk revival, and his son Arlo Guthrie, Arlo.
I hate a song that makes you think that you are not any good. I hate a song that makes you think that you are just born to lose. Bound to lose. No good to nobody. No good for nothing. Because you are too old or too young or too fat or too slim too ugly or too this or too that. Songs that run you down or poke fun at you on account of your bad luck or hard traveling. I am out to fight those songs to my very last breath of air and my last drop of blood. I am out to sing songs that will prove to you that this is your world and that if it has hit you pretty hard and knocked you for a dozen loops, no matter what color, what size you are, how you are built. I am out to sing the songs that make you take pride in yourself and in your work.


Personal life

Guthrie was married three times and fathered eight children, including American folk music, American folk musician
Arlo Guthrie Arlo Davy Guthrie (born July 10, 1947) is a retired American folk Folk or Folks may refer to: Sociology *Nation *People * Folklore ** Folk art ** Folk dance ** Folk hero ** Folk music *** Folk metal *** Folk punk *** Folk rock *** British folk r ...
. * Married: Mary Esta Jennings (married 1933; divorced 1943), Marjorie Greenblatt Mazia (married 1945; divorced 1953), Anneke van Kirk (married 1953; divorced 1954) * Children (8): ** With Mary: Gwendolyn Gail (1935–1976), Sue (1937–1978), Bill (1939–1962) ** With Marjorie Guthrie: Cathy Ann (1943–1947), Arlo Guthrie, Arlo Davy (1947–), Joady Ben (1948–), Nora Guthrie, Nora Guthrie Rotante (1950–) ** With Anneke: Lorina Lynn (1954–1973) * Grandfather of musician Sarah Lee Guthrie Gwendolyn and Sue both inherited Huntington's from their father at age 41 years. Bill died in a train accident at age 23 years. He also had a daughter, Cathy Ann. She died in an electrical fire, around the time of her fourth birthday. Lorina was estranged from her parents, having been put up for adoption by them. She died as a teenager in a car crash in 1973.


Political views and relation to the Communist Party

Guthrie never publicly declared himself a Communist, though he was closely associated with the Party. Will Kauffman says, The matter of Guthrie's membership, however, remains controversial. Scholar Ronald Radosh has written: Similarly writer and historian Aaron J Leonard, in an article detailing Guthrie's Party membership for the History News Network quoted
Pete Seeger Peter Seeger (May 3, 1919 – January 27, 2014) was an American folk singer and social activist Activism consists of efforts to promote, impede, direct, or intervene in social, political, economic, or environmental reform with the d ...

Pete Seeger
: Leonard, in his book The Folk Singers and the Bureau also documents how the FBI treated Guthrie as if he were a member, adding him to various iterations of their Security Index - and keeping him on it till well into the early 1960s. After the
Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact , long_name = , image = Bundesarchiv Bild 183-H27337, Moskau, Stalin und Ribbentrop im Kreml.jpg , image_width = 200 , caption = Joseph Stalin, Stalin and Joachim von Ribbentrop, Ribbentrop shaking hands after the signing of the pact in the Mos ...
, Guthrie took an anti-war U-turn and wrote one song describing the Soviet invasion of Poland as a favor to Polish farmers and another attacking President Roosevelt's loans to Finland to help it defend against the Soviet Union's invasion in the 1939 Winter War. His attitude switched again in 1941 after the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union.


Musical legacy


Woody Guthrie Foundation

The Woody Guthrie Foundation is a non-profit organization that serves as administrator and caretaker of the Woody Guthrie Archives. The archives house the largest collection of Guthrie material in the world. In 2013, the archives were relocated from New York City to the Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, after being purchased by the Tulsa-based George Kaiser Foundation. The Center officially opened on April 27, 2013. The Woody Guthrie Center features, in addition to the archives, a museum focused on the life and the influence of Guthrie through his music, writings, art, and political activities. The museum is open to the public; the archives are open only to researchers by appointment. The archives contains thousands of items related to Guthrie, including original artwork, books, correspondence, lyrics, manuscripts, media, notebooks, periodicals, personal papers, photographs, scrapbooks, and other special collections. Guthrie's unrecorded written lyrics housed at the archives have been the starting point of several albums including the Wilco and
Billy Bragg Stephen William Bragg (born 20 December 1957) is an English singer-songwriter and left-wing Left-wing politics supports social equality and egalitarianism Egalitarianism (), or equalitarianism, is a school of thought within polit ...

Billy Bragg
albums ''Mermaid Avenue'' and ''Mermaid Avenue Vol. II'', created in 1998 sessions at the invitation of Guthrie's daughter Nora. The Native American (Navajo, Diné) trio Blackfire (American band), Blackfire also interpreted previously unreleased Guthrie lyrics at Nora's invitation. Jonatha Brooke's 2008 album, ''The Works (Jonatha Brooke album), The Works'', includes lyrics from the Woody Guthrie Archives set to music by Jonatha Brooke. The various artists compilation ''Note of Hope: A Celebration of Woody Guthrie'' was released in 2011. Nora selected Jay Farrar, Will Johnson (musician), Will Johnson, Anders Parker, and Jim James, Yim Yames to record her father's lyrics for ''New Multitudes'' to honor the 100th anniversary of his birth and a Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions, box set of the Mermaid Avenue sessions was also released.


Folk Festival

The Woody Guthrie Folk Festival, also known as "WoodyFest", is held annually since 1998 in mid-July to commemorate Guthrie's life and music. The festival is held on the weekend closest to Guthrie's birth date (July 14) in Guthrie's hometown of
Okemah, Oklahoma Okemah ( or ) is the largest city in and the county seat of Okfuskee County, Oklahoma, Okfuskee County, Oklahoma, United States. It is the birthplace of folk music legend Woody Guthrie. Thlopthlocco Tribal Town, a federally recognized Muscogee Ind ...
. Planned and implemented annually by the Woody Guthrie Coalition, a non-profit corporation, the goal is simply to ensure Guthrie's musical legacy.Eshleman, Annette C
Concert Review – Woody Guthrie Folk Festival
. ''Dirty Linen'', No. 103, December 2002/January 2003. Retrieved September 21, 2007.
The Woody Guthrie Coalition commissioned a local Creek Indian sculptor to cast a full-body bronze statue of Guthrie and his guitar, complete with the guitar's well-known message reading, "This machine kills fascists".Dunbar-Ortiz, Roxanne. FindArticles.com
Bound for Glory – Indeed!
Review of ''Ramblin' Man: The Life and Times of Woody Guthrie'' by Ed Cray. March 2005. Retrieved September 17, 2007.
The statue, sculpted by artist Dan Brook, stands along Okemah's main street in the heart of downtown and was unveiled in 1998, the inaugural year of the festival.3rd Annual Woody Guthrie Free Folk Festival. July 12–16, 2000 (Program booklet).


Jewish songs

Marjorie Mazia was born Marjorie Greenblatt and her mother, Aliza Greenblatt, was a well-known Yiddish poet. With her, Guthrie wrote numerous Jewish lyrics. Guthrie's Jewish lyrics can be traced to the unusual collaborative relationship he had with his mother-in-law, who lived across from Guthrie and his family in Brooklyn in the 1940s. Guthrie (the Oklahoma troubadour) and Greenblatt (the Jewish wordsmith) often discussed their artistic projects and critiqued each other's works, finding common ground in their shared love of culture and social justice, despite very different backgrounds. Their collaboration flourished in 1940s Brooklyn, where Jewish culture was interwoven with music, modern dance, poetry and anti-fascist, pro-labor, classic socialist activism. Guthrie was inspired to write songs that came directly out of this unlikely relationship, both personal and political; he identified the problems of Jews with those of his fellow Okies and other oppressed peoples. These lyrics were rediscovered by Nora Guthrie and were set to music by the Jewish Klezmer group The Klezmatics with the release of ''Happy Joyous Hanukkah'' on JMG Records in 2007. The Klezmatics also released ''Wonder Wheel – Lyrics by Woody Guthrie'', an album of spiritual lyrics put to music composed by the band. The album, produced by Danny Blume, was awarded a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World Music Album.


Tributes

Since his death, artists have paid tribute to Guthrie by Cover versions, covering his songs or by dedicating songs to him. On January 20, 1968, three months after Guthrie's death, Harold Leventhal produced ''A Tribute to Woody Guthrie'' at New York City's Carnegie Hall. Performers included Jack Elliott, Pete Seeger,
Tom Paxton Thomas Richard Paxton (born October 31, 1937) is an American folk Folk or Folks may refer to: Sociology *Nation *People * Folklore ** Folk art ** Folk dance ** Folk hero ** Folk music *** Folk metal *** Folk punk *** Folk rock *** British folk ...
,
Bob Dylan Bob Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman; May 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter, author and visual artist. Often regarded as one of the greatest songwriters of all time, Dylan has been a major figure in for more than 50 years. Much of ...

Bob Dylan
and The Band, Judy Collins, Arlo Guthrie, Richie Havens, Odetta, and others. Leventhal repeated the tribute on September 12, 1970, at the Hollywood Bowl. Recordings of both concerts were eventually released as LPs and later combined into one CD. A film of the Hollywood Bowl concert was discovered recently and issued as a DVD in 2019 ['Woody Guthrie All star tribute concert 1970'-(MVD Visual. MVD2331D,2019)] The Irish folk singer Christy Moore was also strongly influenced by Woody Guthrie in his seminal 1972 album ''Prosperous (album), Prosperous'', giving renditions of "Ludlow Massacre (song), The Ludlow Massacre" and Bob Dylan's "Song to Woody". Dylan also penned the poem ''Last Thoughts on Woody Guthrie'' as a tribute. Andy Irvine—Moore's bandmate in Irish folk group Planxty and lifelong admirer of Guthrie—wrote his tribute song "Andy Irvine (musician)#Tribute song to Woody Guthrie: "Never Tire of the Road", Never Tire of the Road" (released on the album ''Rain on the Roof (Andy Irvine album), Rain on the Roof''), which includes the chorus from a song Guthrie recorded in March 1944: "Woody Guthrie discography#The Martins and the Coys: A Contemporary Folk Tale, You Fascists Are Bound to Lose". In 1986, Irvine also recorded both parts of Guthrie's "The Ballad of Tom Joad" together as a complete song—under the title of "Tom Joad"—on the first album released by his other band, Patrick Street.
Bruce Springsteen Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen (born September 23, 1949) is an American singer, songwriter, and musician who is both a solo artist and the leader of the E Street Band The E Street Band is an American rock band, and has been musician Bruc ...

Bruce Springsteen
also performed a cover of Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land" on his live album ''Live 1975–1985''. In the introduction to the song, Springsteen referred to it as "just about one of the most beautiful songs ever written". In 1979, Sammy Walker's LP ''Songs From Woody's Pen'' was released by Folkways Records. Though the original recordings of these songs date back more than 30 years, Walker sings them in a traditional folk-revivalist manner reminiscent of Guthrie's social conscience and sense of humor. Speaking of Guthrie, Walker said: "I can't think of hardly anyone who has had as much influence on my own singing and songwriting as Woody." In September 1996, Cleveland's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and Case Western Reserve University cohosted ''Hard Travelin': The Life and Legacy of Woody Guthrie'', a 10-day conference of panel sessions, lectures, and concerts. The conference became the first in what would become the museum's annual American Music Masters Series conference. Highlights included Arlo Guthrie's Keynote, keynote address, a Saturday night musical jamboree at Cleveland's Odeon Theater, and a Sunday night concert at Severance Hall, the home of the Cleveland Orchestra. Musicians performing over the course of the conference included Arlo Guthrie, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Bragg, Pete Seeger, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, the Indigo Girls, Ellis Paul, Jimmy LaFave, Ani DiFranco, and others. In 1999, Wesleyan University Press published a collection of essays from the conference and DiFranco's record label, Righteous Babe Records, Righteous Babe, released a compilation of the Severance Hall concert, ''Til We Outnumber 'Em'', in 2000. From 1999 to 2002, the Smithsonian Institution, Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service presented the traveling exhibit, ''This Land Is Your Land: The Life and Legacy of Woody Guthrie''. In collaboration with Nora Guthrie, the Smithsonian exhibition draws from rarely seen objects, illustrations, film footage, and recorded performances to reveal a complex man who was at once poet, musician, protester, idealist, itinerant hobo, and folk legend. In 2003, Jimmy LaFave produced a Woody Guthrie tribute show called ''Ribbon of Highway, Endless Skyway''. The ensemble show toured around the country and included a rotating cast of singer-songwriters individually performing Guthrie's songs. Interspersed between songs were Guthrie's philosophical writings read by a narrator. In addition to LaFave, members of the rotating cast included Ellis Paul, Slaid Cleaves, Eliza Gilkyson, Joel Rafael, husband-wife duo Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion, Sarah Lee Guthrie (Woody Guthrie's granddaughter) and Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion, Johnny Irion, Michael Fracasso, and The Burns Sisters. Oklahoma songwriter Bob Childers, sometimes called "the Dylan of the Dust", served as narrator.Propaganda Media Group, Inc
Ribbon of Highway – Endless Skyway: Concert in the Spirit of Woody Guthrie
. Retrieved February 6, 2007.
When word spread about the tour, performers began contacting LaFave, whose only prerequisite was to have an inspirational connection to Guthrie. Each artist chose the Guthrie songs that he or she would perform as part of the tribute. LaFave said, "It works because all the performers are Guthrie enthusiasts in some form".Martinez, Rebekah
"Tribute to Woody Guthrie Tour makes a stop in Conroe Feb. 16"
, ''The Courier'' (Conroe, TX.), February 7, 2003. Retrieved February 7, 2007.
The inaugural performance of the Ribbon of Highway tour took place on February 5, 2003 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. The abbreviated show was a featured segment of ''Nashville Sings Woody'', yet another tribute concert to commemorate the music of Woody Guthrie held during the Folk Alliance Conference. The cast of ''Nashville Sings Woody'', a benefit for the Woody Guthrie Foundation and Archives, also included Arlo Guthrie, Marty Stuart, Nanci Griffith, Guy Clark, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Janis Ian, and others. Woody and Marjorie Guthrie were honored at a musical celebration featuring
Billy Bragg Stephen William Bragg (born 20 December 1957) is an English singer-songwriter and left-wing Left-wing politics supports social equality and egalitarianism Egalitarianism (), or equalitarianism, is a school of thought within polit ...

Billy Bragg
and the band Brad (band), Brad on October 17, 2007 at Webster Hall in New York City.
Steve Earle Stephen Fain Earle () (born January 17, 1955) is an American rock, country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, ...
also performed. The event was hosted by actor/activist Tim Robbins to benefit the Huntington's Disease Society of America to commemorate the organization's 40th Anniversary. In ''I'm Not There'', a 2007 biographical movie about
Bob Dylan Bob Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman; May 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter, author and visual artist. Often regarded as one of the greatest songwriters of all time, Dylan has been a major figure in for more than 50 years. Much of ...

Bob Dylan
, one of the characters introduced in the film as segments of Dylan's life is a young African-American boy who calls himself "Woody Guthrie". The purpose of this particular character was a reference to Dylan's youthful obsession with Guthrie. The fictional Woody also reflects the fictitious autobiographies that Dylan constructed during his early career as he established his own artistic identity. In the film there is even a scene where the fictional Woody visits the real Woody Guthrie as he lies ill and dying in a hospital in New York (a reference to the times when a nineteen-year-old Dylan would regularly visit his idol, after learning of his whereabouts, while he was hospitalized in New York in the 1960s). Later, a sketch on ''Saturday Night Live'' would spoof these visits, alleging that Dylan stole the line, "They'll stone you for playing your guitar!" from Guthrie. Pete Seeger had the Sloop Woody Guthrie, Sloop ''Woody Guthrie'' built for an organization he founded, the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater. It was launched in 1978. Now operated by the Beacon Sloop Club, it serves to educate people about sailing and the history and environs of the Hudson River. In 1988, Woody Guthrie was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and in 2000 he was honored with the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Guthrie was inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame in 1997. In 2006, Guthrie was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. In 1987, "Roll on Columbia" was chosen as the official Washington State Folk Song, and in 2001 Guthrie's "Oklahoma Hills" was chosen to be the official state folk song of Oklahoma. On June 26, 1998, as part of its Legends of American Music series, the United States Postal Service issued 45 million 32-cent stamps honoring folk musicians Huddie Ledbetter, Guthrie, Sonny Terry and Josh White. The four musicians were represented on sheets of 20 stamps. In July 2001, CB's Gallery in New York City began hosting an annual Woody Guthrie Birthday Bash concert featuring multiple performers. This event moved to the Bowery Poetry Club in 2007 after CB's Gallery and CBGB, its parent club, closed. The final concert in the series took place on July 14, 2012, Guthrie's 100th birthday. In January 2005, Canadian hip-hop artist Buck 65 released ''This Right Here Is Buck 65''. Track 8 is a cover of "Talking Fishing Blues". In 2006, The Klezmatics set Jewish lyrics written by Guthrie to music. The resulting album, ''Wonder Wheel (album), Wonder Wheel'', won the Grammy award for best contemporary world music album. On February 10, 2008, ''The Live Wire: Woody Guthrie in Performance 1949'', a rare live recording released in cooperation with the Woody Guthrie Foundation, was the recipient of a Grammy Award in the category Best Historical Album. Less than two years later, Guthrie was again nominated for a Grammy in the same category with the 2009 release of ''My Dusty Road'' on Rounder Records. In the centennial year of Guthrie's birth, another album of newly composed songs on his lyrics has been released: ''New Multitudes''. On March 10, 2012, there was a tribute concert at the Brady Theater in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
John Mellencamp John J. Mellencamp (born October 7, 1951), previously known as Johnny Cougar, John Cougar, and John Cougar Mellencamp, is an American musician, singer-songwriter, painter, actor, and film director. He is known for his catchy brand of heartland ...

John Mellencamp
, Arlo Guthrie, Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion, the Del McCoury Band and the Flaming Lips performed. The Grammy Museum at L.A. Live, Grammy Museum held a tribute week in April 2012 and the Songwriters Hall of Fame a tribute in June. A four-disc box ''Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions'' by Billy Bragg and Wilco, with 17 unreleased songs and a documentary, was planned for April release. On July 10, 2012, Smithsonian Folkways released ''Woody at 100: The Woody Guthrie Centennial Collection'', a 150-page large-format book with three CDs containing 57 tracks. The set also contains 21 previously unreleased performances and six never before released original songs, including Woody's first known—and recently discovered—recordings from 1937. The box set received two nominations for the 55th Annual Grammy Awards, including Best Historical Album and Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package. It also won an Independent Music Award for Best Compilation Album in 2013."12th Annual Independent Music Awards Winners Announced!"
Independent Music Awards, June 11, 2013. Retrieved September 4, 2013.


Selected discography

* ''
Dust Bowl Ballads ''Dust Bowl Ballads'' is an album packaged in book form, like a photograph album An album is a collection of audio recordings issued as a collection on compact disc (CD), Phonograph record, vinyl, audio tape, or another medium. Albums of ...
'' (1940) (The only non-compilation album of Guthrie's career) * ''Nursery Days'' (1951) * ''Songs to Grow on for Mother and Child'' (1956) * ''Bound for Glory (album), Bound for Glory'' (1956) * ''Ballads of Sacco & Vanzetti'' (1960) * ''Woody Guthrie Sings Folk Songs'' (1962) * ''Hard Travelin (1964) * ''Library of Congress Recordings'' (1964) * ''Columbia River Collection'' (1987) * ''The Asch Recordings, This Land Is Your Land, The Asch Recordings, Vol.1'' (1997) * ''The Asch Recordings, Muleskinner Blues, The Asch Recordings, Vol.2'' (1997) * ''The Asch Recordings, Hard Travelin', The Asch Recordings, Vol.3'' (1998) * ''The Asch Recordings, Buffalo Skinners, The Asch Recordings, Vol.4'' (1999) * ''The Live Wire: Woody Guthrie in Performance 1949'' (2007) * ''My Dusty Road'' (2009) * ''Woody at 100: The Woody Guthrie Centennial Collection'' (2012)


See also

* :Woody Guthrie songs, List of songs by Woody Guthrie * :Woody Guthrie albums, List of albums by Woody Guthrie * List of peace activists


Citations


General sources

* * * * *


Further reading and listening

* Down Home Radio Show. LeadBelly & Woody Guthrie live on WNYC Radio, Dec. 1940. Audio re-broadcast of a 1940 radio show. Retrieved January 29, 2008. * Earle, Steve. Woody Guthrie. ''The Nation'', July 21, 2003. Retrieved January 29, 2008. * Electronic Frontier Foundation. Scanned images of some of Woody Guthrie's original works. Retrieved January 29, 2008. * Guthrie, Mary Jo. Woody's Road: Woody Guthrie's Letters Home, Drawings, Photos, and Other Unburied Treasures Paradigm Publishers, 2012. * Hogeland, William (March 14, 2004), "Emulating the Real and Vital Guthrie, Not St. Woody", ''New York Times''. * Jackson, Mark Allen. ''Prophet Singer: The Voice and Vision of Woody Guthrie''. University Press of Mississippi, January 2007. * * La Chapelle, Peter. Is Country Music Inherently Conservative? History News Network. November 12, 2007. Retrieved January 29, 2008. * La Chapelle, Peter. ''Proud to Be an Okie: Cultural Politics, Country Music, and Migration to Southern California''. University of California Press, 2007. (hb); (pb) * Library of Congress. Timeline of Woody Guthrie (1912–1967). Retrieved January 29, 2008. * Library of Congress. Woody Guthrie and the Archive of American Folk Song: Correspondence, 1940–1950. Retrieved January 29, 2008. * Marroquin, Danny. Walking the Long Road. PopMatters.com. August 4, 2006. Retrieved January 29, 2008. * Pascal, Rich. "Celebrating the Real America", Canberra ACT news, sport and weather , The Canberra Times. * Public Broadcasting Service. ''Woody Guthrie: Ain't Got No Home''. Documentary from PBS' American Masters series, July 2006. Retrieved January 29, 2008. * Symphony Silicon Valley Concert Recordings. David Amram's ''Symphonic Variations on a Song by Woody Guthrie'' Recorded September 30, 2007. Audio recording. Retrieved January 11, 2008. * University of Oregon. ''Roll on Columbia: Woody Guthrie and the Bonneville Power Administration''. Video documentary. Retrieved January 29, 2008. * University of Virginia. Guthrie singing "This Land Is Your Land". MP3 recording. Retrieved January 29, 2008. * WoodyGuthrie.de. Woody Guthrie Related Audio. Miscellaneous Real Audio files featuring Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, Alan Lomax and others. Retrieved January 29, 2008.


External links


The Woody Guthrie Center

The Woody Guthrie Foundation and Archives


Library of Congress The Library of Congress (LC) is the research library A library is a collection of materials, books or media that are easily accessible for use and not just for display purposes. It is responsible for housing updated information in order ...

Library of Congress
, American Folklife Center. American Memory presentation of archival correspondence written by Woody Guthrie to the staff of the Archive of American Folk Song. Retrieved August 31, 2009 *
Woody Guthrie in NYC, 1943
 – slideshow by ''Life magazine''
Folksay (1945) Board – Getty Images
Photographs of Woody Guthrie on early television in 1945 at
CBS CBS is an American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S ...

CBS
New York in a production of ''Folksay''.
Woody Guthrie's Discography on Smithsonian Folkways
*

* * *
Voices of Oklahoma interview with Nora Guthrie.
First person interview conducted on October 10, 2010, with Nora Guthrie, daughter of Woody Guthrie. *
Woody at 100: The Woody Guthrie Centennial Collection
by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
Voices of Oklahoma interview with Mary Jo Guthrie.
First person interview conducted on May 9, 2013 with Mary Jo Guthrie talking about her brother Woody Guthrie.
Voices of Oklahoma interview with Guy Logsdon.
First person interview conducted on February 16, 2010, with Guy Logsdon, Woody Guthrie historian. *
Newly Released FBI Files Expose Red-Baiting of Woody Guthrie, Published in Truthout
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