Woodrow Wilson “Woody” Guthrie (July 14, 1912 – October 3, 1967) was an American singer-songwriter and folk musician whose musical legacy includes hundreds of political, traditional and children’s songs, ballads and improvised works. He frequently performed with the slogan This Machine Kills Fascists displayed on his guitar. His best-known song is “This Land Is Your Land.” Many of his recorded songs are archived in the Library of Congress. Such songwriters as Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp, Pete Seeger, Joe Strummer, Billy Bragg, Jeff Tweedy and Tom Paxton have acknowledged Guthrie as a major influence.
Guthrie traveled with migrant workers from Oklahoma to California and learned traditional folk and blues songs. Many of his songs are about his experiences in the Dust Bowl era during the Great Depression, earning him the nickname the “Dust Bowl Troubadour.” Throughout his life Guthrie was associated with United States communist groups, though he was seemingly not a member of any.
(some) Posthumous honors
- in 1988 he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
- in 2000 he was honored with the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award
- in 1987 “Roll On Columbia” was chosen as the official Washington State Folk Song
- in 2001 Guthrie’s “Oklahoma Hills” was chosen to be the official state folk song of Oklahoma
- On July 10, 2012, Smithsonian Folkways released the 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.
This Land is Your Land:
Album of the day:
- Knocked Out Loaded is singer-songwriter Bob Dylan‘s 24th studio album, released by Columbia Records in July 1986.The album was received poorly upon release, and is still considered by some critics to be one of Dylan’s least-engaging efforts. However, the 11-minute epic “Brownsville Girl“— co-written by Sam Shepard—has been cited as one of his best by some critics.
Released July 14, 1986 Recorded Spring 1986 Genre Rock Length 36:11 Label Columbia Producer Bob Dylan