Guthrie of Folk Music: The Legend of Woody Guthrie

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Woody Guthrie is one of the most influential folk musicians of all time. His songs have been covered by everyone from Bob Dylan to Bruce Springsteen, and his life story is the stuff of legend. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the man, the myth, and the legend of Woody Guthrie.

Woody Guthrie- an American legend

Woodrow Wilson “Woody” Guthrie was an American singer-songwriter and musician who is considered one of the most significant figures in American folk music. His musical legacy includes hundreds of songs, many of which are now considered American classics. He was also a prolific writer, penning everything from children’s songs to political anthems.

Guthrie was born in Oklahoma in 1912, and he grew up during the Dust Bowl era of the 1930s. This experience had a profound effect on his music, which often reflected the hardscrabble lives of the people he sang about. In 1940, he moved to New York City, where he quickly became a central figure in the city’s burgeoning folk scene. He went on to record numerous albums and perform with some of the biggest names in folk music.

Guthrie died in 1967, but his influence continues to be felt today. His songs have been covered by everyone from Bob Dylan to Bruce Springsteen, and his story was dramatized in the film Bound for Glory (1976).

The early years of Woody Guthrie

Woodrow Wilson (Woody) Guthrie was born in Okemah, Oklahoma, on July 14, 1912. His parents, Charlie and Nora Guthrie, were determined that their children would not grow up to be like them—poor, uneducated, and beaten down by life. So they instilled in Woody and his sister, Mary Jo, a love of learning and a respect for books. Woody’s mother taught him to play the violin, and his father passed on his own passion for music. At home and in the town’s one room schoolhouse, Woody learned to read and write. He also developed a lifelong love of reading; his favorite book was The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan.

Woody Guthrie and the Dust Bowl

Woodrow Wilson Guthrie 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. Throughout his life Guthrie was associated with United States Communist groups, though he was never a member of any.

Guthrie was born in Okemah, a small town in Oklahoma Territory, and died in 1967 from complications of Huntingdon’s disease. His parents were Nora Belle (née Sherman) and Charles Edward Guthrie. His father was a cowboy and landowner who was politically active; Woody’s mother sang popular songs around the house. Charlie Guthrie moved the family during Woody’s childhood to Texas and then California to find farm work during the Great Depression of the 1930s, although they eventually settled back in Oklahoma near Woody’s birthplace. As a young boy woody was nicknamed “Woody” by his family and friends after President Woodrow Wilson because Woodrow was such a common name at the time while Wilson was not. Woody Guthrie grew up during the dust bowl years making him a witness to Texan migrant life which he would later sing about reguarly as an adult folk musician

Woody Guthrie and the Great Depression

Woody Guthrie was one of the most prolific and influential songwriters of the twentieth century. His songs have been recorded by some of the biggest names in music, including Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, and Willie Nelson. Guthrie’s songs are often associated with the American folk music tradition, but his work also incorporates elements of blues, jazz, and country music.

Guthrie was born in Oklahoma in 1912, and he grew up during the Great Depression. He traveled around the United States working odd jobs and singing for anyone who would listen. In 1940, Guthrie moved to New York City, where he met Lead Belly, Pete Seeger, and other folk musicians who were part of the ” Greenwich Village scene.” Guthrie became involved in leftist politics and labor activism during this period, and his songs began to reflect his political views.

In 1944, Guthrie wrote ” This Land Is Your Land,” one of his most famous and iconic songs. The lyrics of ” This Land Is Your Land” celebrate the beauty of the American landscape, but they also contain a message of social justice and equality for all Americans. The song has been recorded by many different artists over the years, and it has become an anthem for generations of Americans.

Woody Guthrie died in 1967, but his music continues to inspire people all over the world.

Woody Guthrie and the New Deal

Woody Guthrie is best known as a folk singer and songwriter, but he was also a political activist. He was born in Oklahoma in 1912, and his family lived in Texas, California, and Kansas before finally settling in New York City. Guthrie’s father was a politician who constantly changed his mind about which party he belonged to. Woody Guthrie himself became involved in the labor movement and the Communist Party during the 1930s. He wrote songs that were inspired by his experiences working with migrant workers and living in poverty himself.

Guthrie became famous for his songs about the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. He wrote “So Long, It’s Been Good to Know You” after hearing about the death of a friend who had committed suicide. The song became an anthem for Oklahoma farmers who were forced to leave their homes during the Dust Bowl. In 1940, Woody Guthrie moved to California to work for the American Federation of Musicians. He continued to write songs and perform, but he also began to experience health problems.

In 1954, Woody Guthrie was diagnosed with Huntington’s disease, a degenerative brain disorder that would eventually kill him. He continued to write songs and perform when he could, but his disease made it increasingly difficult for him to do so. He died in 1967 at the age of 55.

Woody Guthrie and World War II

As World War II raged on Guthrie found his songs in more demand than ever before. He wrote songs for the merchant marines, worked as a writer for a leftist newspaper in New York, and performed at various benefits throughout the country. In addition, he wrote a column called “Woody Sez” for a Communist Party newspaper. Guthrie also became increasingly involved in labor rights issues and was one of the first folk musicians to sing about the working class and their struggles.

Woody Guthrie and the Cold War

Woody Guthrie was a singer, songwriter, and musician who was highly influential in the development of folk music in the United States. He is perhaps best known for his song “This Land Is Your Land,” which has become an American classic.

Guthrie was born in Oklahoma in 1912, and he grew up during the Dust Bowl era of the 1930s. He was exposed to a variety of music while working on the radio and as a hobo traveling around the country. Guthrie’s songs reflect his experience of seeing America during the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl, as well as his concern for social justice.

During the 1940s, Guthrie became involved in politics, and he became a voice for left-wing causes. He was an outspoken critic of fascism and racism, and he supported the labor movement. Guthrie also wrote a column for The People’s World, a Communist newspaper.

During the 1950s, America entered into a period of intense Cold War paranoia, and Guthrie came under attack from McCarthyites and other anti-Communists. He was denounced as a “subversive” and a “dangerous” influence on young people. Nonetheless, Guthrie continued to be popular with folk music fans, and he continued to perform and record until his death in 1967.

The later years of Woody Guthrie

Woody Guthrie’s later years were a time of continued political and social activism. He wrote songs condemning the Jim Crow laws in the South, as well as the poor treatment of migrant workers. In his later years, he also became increasingly interested in Native American rights and issues. He even wrote a book about his experiences living with a Native American family on the Oklahoma plains.

The legacy of Woody Guthrie

Woody Guthrie was one of the most influential folk musicians of the 20th century. His songs tackled social issues and were a voice for the poor and oppressed. He was a prolific songwriter, penning more than 3,000 songs in his lifetime. Many of his songs, including “This Land is Your Land” and “Pretty Boy Floyd,” have become American classics.

Guthrie’s life was filled with struggle. He was born into a poor family in Oklahoma during the Dust Bowl years of the 1930s. He battled poverty and Dust Bowl conditions throughout his childhood. In addition, Guthrie struggled with Huntington’s disease, a degenerative neurological condition that eventually claimed his life.

Despite all of these struggles, Woody Guthrie left a lasting legacy. His songs have inspired generations of musicians and activists. His commitment to social justice continues to motivate people today.

The influence of Woody Guthrie

As one of the most influential singers of his time, Woody Guthrie’s music and lyrics have inspired countless artists in a wide range of genres, from folk to rock to hip hop. His songs are timeless classics that reflect the human experience, and his words continue to resonate with people all over the world.

Similar Posts