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Some rob you with a six-gun and some with a fountain pen.

Monday
Nov 12, 2018

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Random Person of the Day: Woodrow Wilson Guthrie

Woodrow Wilson Guthrie

Woodrow Wilson Guthrie

Woodrow Wilson Guthrie (July 14, 1912 - October 3, 1967) was a prolific 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.

Woody Guthrie traveled across the United States and spent time learning traditional folk and blues songs. Following migrant workers from Oklahoma to California, the experience inspired him to write his own original folk songs of the 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 eventually 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 Elliot and Bob Dylan.

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