View Full Version : Woddy Guthrie

09-09-2005, 08:02:42
I started listening to the American folk music legend Woody Guthrie and I have to admite this is good music with a message though it has a dated country western feel. Woody Guthrie was born in pre-WW1 Oklahoma and in the early 1930's his music came to tell the story of many a dust bowl farmer. The recordings that survive have the grainy sound of an old record which has been played to often but it's good music which ties people to the thinking of depression era America.

What's more there seems to be a number of people on Kazaa who trade his music. After listening to Woddy's music and can safely say that sticking it to the man by not paying royalties is something which Woddy Guthrie would have approved of.

09-09-2005, 08:22:44
I've been reading more about Guthrieís' life and the more I read the more I find it fascinating. He was born in 1912 in Okemah, Oklahoma to a petty land owning farming family. His sister died when he was 12 and his mother went insane over the death of her eldest child. Okemah became an oil boom town where oil company owners became hugely wealthy yet most of the masses were farmers who saw their financial position grow steadily worse until the depression and the dust bowl meant that many farmers started starving to death in the street. Woody's life long outlook was formed by these events.

He took up playing guitar and writing his own music which frequently featured outlaws and bandits who helped the common man over the moneyed interest. One of his hit songs dealt with "Pretty Boy Floyd" who was a real life bank robber in early 1930's Oklahoma who became something of a Robin Hood type character. Floyd was from a farm family whose farm was repossessed during the dust bowl & depression so he took up bank robbing and he gave most of his proceeds to farm families who were in danger of losing their farms. Floyd was also known for giving Christmas and Easter dinners to destitute families. Guthrie himself made a fair fortune on his folk music career but he still enlisted in the Army during WW2 though all through the 1930ís and the 1940ís he took a keen interest in the Unionism movement.

In the post WW2 period he became fascinated with Communism and even became a member of the American Communist party mostly citing the abuse of farmers and oil workers in 1930ís Oklahoma along with the union breaking thugs of the 1930ís. What ever you think of the manís politics his music is top notch and remains topical even 70-75 years after he wrote it.

09-09-2005, 08:45:51
Hmmm, he wrote several childrens' songs including "This land is your land (this land is my land)". Recognition of Woody Guthrie's work lives on. He has been inducted into The Songwriters' Hall of Fame (1971), the Nashville Songwriters' Hall of Fame (1977), and The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum (1988). He has received numerous awards, including the U.S. Department of the Interior's Conservation Award (1966), The Folk Alliance Lifetime Achievement Award (1996), and a Grammy from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (1999). In 1996, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and Case Western Reserve University presented a ten day celebration honoring Woody Guthrie, entitled Hard Travelin'. It was the first major conference on the legacy of Woody Guthrie complete with a photo exhibition, lectures, films, and two benefit concerts, which were held in support of the Woody Guthrie Archives.

Popular and folk musicians such as Bruce Springsteen, Billy Bragg, Wilco, Ani DiFranco, and others continue to draw on Woody Guthrie's songs; that more then anything says how far the man's shadow has fallen. 38 years after his death bands are still using his songs and audiences are identifying with his messages. That's a great thing that so many people still feel an emotional connection to a depression era song writer.

09-09-2005, 09:14:05
"Through this world you ramble,
You'll see lots of funny men.
Some will rob you with a six gun,
and some with a fountain pen.

But through your life you travel,
and through your life you roam,
you will never see an outlaw,
drive a family from their home."

09-09-2005, 09:52:19
Did he do Alice's Restaurant?

09-09-2005, 11:38:01
Nope. That was Arlo Guthrie.

09-09-2005, 11:55:12

Nills Lagerbaak
09-09-2005, 12:11:58
What, am I tripping out? A second ago Debaser's answer was an authoratitive yes!

09-09-2005, 12:13:35
You imagined it.


Nills Lagerbaak
09-09-2005, 12:22:36
3...2...1... now open your eyes.

Lazarus and the Gimp
10-09-2005, 10:39:09
This thread kills fascists.

10-09-2005, 15:38:03
Arlo was Woody's son.

Arlo had a sense of humour. Woody didn't particularly, with the depression and the dustbowl happening. He wrote songs like: "Dust", "Lots of Dust", "Still more Dust", "Dust, Dust, Dust and Depression"...you get the idea. :)

Lazarus and the Gimp
10-09-2005, 23:09:36
Balls. He wrote some great funny ones too, particularly his kids songs. Great, rollicking, cute nonsense songs.

And to the Okies (who were, in the main, Woodie's audience) the dust bowl was the end of the world, so he can be pardoned returning to the theme several times.

Greg W
11-09-2005, 01:09:39
Woddy. :lol:

The Norks
13-09-2005, 16:15:04
i was brought up on Woody Guthrie, I hated all that miserable dustbowl stuff then, but its quite nostalgic now. I have a biography and a CD somewhere.

13-09-2005, 16:25:51
I love all this old blues and country stuff. A lot of the stuff I have (not a vast collection granted) can be quite hard going because the quality of the recordings are so poor but it shouldn't be an obstacle.

I tend to find the lives of these artists just as interesting as their music. Many of these guys (and their predecessors - oh, and women) really lived a harsh existence. I'd recommend "The Life and Legend of Leadbelly" to anyone. It can be difficult to distinguish myth from reality but its kind of fun to believe that it was all true anyway. There's some great tales in that book. Intend to read more about Robert Johnson shortly too. His death is the stuff of legend.