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By Kim Ruehl,

Woody Guthrie grew up in a nowhere town in the heart of the Dust Bowl, in an America not altogether different from the one we live in today. As a young man, he joined the Dust Bowl exodus made infamous by John Steinbeck's 'Grapes of Wrath'. He cut his teeth singing in California union halls and eventually found his way to New York City. There, along with Pete Seeger, Leadbelly, and others, he laid the groundwork for a topical song movement which strongly influenced the 1950s-'60s folk "revival". Songs he wrote - "This Land Is Your Land", "Pastures of Plenty", "Pretty Boy Floyd", and literally thousands of others - have been sung by generations of artists since. Before Guthrie, singers and songwriters were separate entities in the music industry. But, his stage presence, poetics, and grasp on musical performance set a standard for the singer-songwriter which remains influential to this day.

Listen closely to this stream and you'll hear the reach of his influence in the recordings of his protégé Pete Seeger, those of revival folksingers like Joan Baez, and 21st century innovators like Ani DiFranco and Old Crow Medicine Show. Though Woody Guthrie died in 1967, his 100th birthday is a celebration of not only one man's legacy, but the songs which have, for the past century, given voice to working folks everywhere.

Woody Guthrie

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Posted by Naomi on May 31, 2017


Posted by Naomi on May 31, 2017

hey folks, We had our local Woody Guthrie celebration on Saturday. About 60 people showed, and it went on for almost 2 hours. Seeing as we're in a all-but-forgotten corner of Israel, 60 is a decent crowd. It was an excellent day! It's amazing how relevant his songs still are - anywhere in the wirld.

Posted by mark linton on July 16, 2012

Looking forward to the Woody Fest show at the City Winery in New York City tomorrow night--Friday.

Posted by John Foster on July 12, 2012

This is dynamite. Any chance you could post a playlist of this stream? I'm just getting into folk and I'd love to be able to find the songs on this again.

Posted by HokeH on July 10, 2012

This is just fantastic! Reminds one just how far-reaching Woody's influence is, still. Thanks for making this available!

Posted by Lyle Bogart on July 07, 2012


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