WOODY GUTHRIE Biography - Musicians


Biography » musicians » woody guthrie


Name: Woodrow Wilson Guthrie                                                         
Born: 14 July 1912 Okemah, Oklahoma, U.S.                                             
Died: 3 October 1967 New York City, New York, U.S.                                   
Woodrow Wilson "Woody" Guthrie (July 14, 1912 - October 3, 1967) was an American     
songwriter and folk musician. Guthrie's musical legacy consists of hundreds of       
songs, ballads and improvised works covering topics from political themes to         
traditional songs to children's songs. Guthrie performed continually throughout       
his life with his guitar frequently displaying the slogan "This Machine Kills         
Fascists". Guthrie is perhaps best known for his song "This Land Is Your Land"       
which is regularly sung in American schools. Many of his recorded songs are           
archived in the Library of Congress.                                                 
Guthrie traveled across the United States and spent time learning traditional         
folk and blues songs. His experience following migrant workers from Oklahoma to       
California inspired him to write his own original folk songs about working           
people. He was a first-hand observer and survivor of the economic and                 
environmental hardships of the Dust Bowl era during the Great Depression and         
became known as the "Dust Bowl Troubadour". Guthrie was associated with, but         
never a member of, Communist groups in the United States throughout his life.         
Guthrie was married three times and fathered eight children, including American       
folk musician Arlo Guthrie. He is the grandfather of musician Sarah Lee Guthrie.     
Guthrie died from complications of the degenerative neurologic affliction known       
as Huntington's Disease. In spite of his illness, during his later years Guthrie     
served as a figurehead in the folk movement providing inspiration to a               
generation of new folk musicians, including mentor relationships with Ramblin'       
Jack Elliott and Bob Dylan.