[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dsPLcyQYPB0&w=560&h=315]

Today a Democracy Now! special on the life, politics and music of Woody Guthrie, the “Dust Bowl Troubadour.” Born a hundred years ago on July 14, 1912, in Oklahoma, Guthrie wrote hundreds of folk songs and became a major influence on countless musicians, including Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Pete Seeger and Phil Ochs. While Guthrie is best remembered as a musician, he also had a deeply political side, speaking out for labor and civil rights at the height of McCarthyism.

Amidst commemorations across the country marking Woody Guthrie’s centennial, we’re joined by Guthrie’s daughter, Nora Guthrie, author of the book “My Name Is New York: Ramblin’ Around Woody Guthrie’s Town”; his granddaughter Anna Canoni; and musician Steve Earle.

We hear stories from Woody Guthrie’s family life and his time in New York City, where he lived from 1940 until his death in 1967 after a long battle with Huntington’s disease. Guthrie’s wife Marjorie later dedicated her life to finding a cure for the disease, inspiring young doctors to pursue genetic research and founding what became the Huntington’s Disease Society of America.

Earle, a three-time Grammy winner, performs two of Guthrie’s songs and discusses how the singer inspired him as a musician and activist. “I never separated music and politics, which kept bringing me back to Woody, over and over and over again,” Earle says. “I still don’t consider myself to be a political artist; I’m just an artist that — I think like Woody was — that lives in really politically charged times.” [includes rush transcript–partial]

GUESTS:

Nora Guthrie, Woody Guthrie’s daughter. She’s president of both the Woody Guthrie Foundation and Archives, and Woody Guthrie Publications. She’s also the author of the new book, My Name Is New York: Ramblin’ Around Woody Guthrie’s Town.

Anna Canoni, Woody Guthrie’s granddaughter. She works for Woody Guthrie Publications.

Steve Earle, musician, actor, author and activist. He is a three-time Grammy Award winner. He’s performing in New York at WoodyFest, a three-day concert in celebration of Woody Guthrie’s birthday. His recent novel and album share the same name: “I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive.”

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By Published On: July 26th, 20121 Comment

One Comment

  1. nonviolentconflict July 26, 2012 at 11:13 AM

    Reblogged this on NonviolentConflict.

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