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13 posts tagged with woodyguthrie.
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Woody Guthrie on film

Here are three short clips of Woody Guthrie singing. There are not many extant:
Woody from 1945, singing Ranger's Command.
Woody, Brownie McGee, & Sonny Terry singing John Henry.
Woody singing Greenback Dollar in a 1947 film from Pete Seeger. (The John Henry clip repeats here.)
Pete Seeger talking about Woody Guthrie.
posted by OmieWise on Sep 2, 2014 - 5 comments

The legacy of the '48 plane crash in Los Gatos and the Bracero deportees

In 1942, the US and Mexican governments created the Bracero Agreement, allowing Mexican agricultural workers to come into the United States for a limited time, to provide farm workers while the US was involved in World War II. The program was extended as a series of a series of laws and diplomatic agreements that finally ended in 1964. Probably the most famous popular memorial to the broad program was a poem by Woodie Guthrie, "the last great song he would write," after hearing about a plane crash in Los Gatos, which was reported as a flight full of nameless "deportees." A decade later, a young school teacher/folk singer named Martin (or Marty) Hoffman put the words to music, and Pete Seeger made the song popular, with numerous covers performed and recorded since. 65 years after the crash, those "deportees" were finally named, and that tombstone for "28 Mexican citizens" replaced with the names of those who died. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 24, 2014 - 7 comments

"Felled by your gun, felled by your gun ...."

Eleanor Roosevelt and the Soviet Sniper
"Lyudmila Pavlichenko was a Soviet sniper credited with 309 kills—and an advocate for women's rights. On a U.S. tour in 1942, she found a friend in the first lady." [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 12, 2014 - 31 comments

"The People's Song Book": Union in Song

"The People's Song Book," published in 1948, was intended to be "a folio of freedom folklore, a weapon against war and reaction, and a singing testament to the future," according to its foreword, which was written by Alan Lomax. "[T]hese songs have been tested in the fire of the people's struggle all around the world. They emerged quietly and anonymously in the vanguard of apparently lost causes, where men of good will have fought to keep this a decent world to live in. ... These folk, heritors of the democratic tradition of folklore, were creating for themselves a folk-culture of high moral and political content." [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes on Mar 4, 2012 - 25 comments

You shall Hear things, Wonderful to tell

A decade on, the Coen brothers' woefully underrated O Brother, Where Art Thou? [alt] is remembered for a lot of things: its sun-drenched, sepia-rich cinematography (a pioneer of digital color grading), its whimsical humor, fluid vernacular, and many subtle references to Homer's Odyssey. But one part of its legacy truly stands out: the music. Assembled by T-Bone Burnett, the soundtrack is a cornucopia of American folk music, exhibiting everything from cheery ballads and angelic hymns to wistful blues and chain-gang anthems. Woven into the plot of the film through radio and live performances, the songs lent the story a heartfelt, homespun feel that echoed its cultural heritage, a paean and uchronia of the Old South. Though the multiplatinum album was recently reissued, the movie's medley is best heard via famed documentarian D. A. Pennebaker's Down from the Mountain, an extraordinary yet intimate concert film focused on a night of live music by the soundtrack's stars (among them Gillian Welch, Emmylou Harris, Chris Thomas King, bluegrass legend Dr. Ralph Stanley) and wryly hosted by John Hartford, an accomplished fiddler, riverboat captain, and raconteur whose struggle with terminal cancer made this his last major performance. The film is free in its entirety on Hulu and YouTube -- click inside for individual clips, song links, and breakdowns of the set list's fascinating history. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Dec 22, 2011 - 107 comments

5. TAKE BATH

-NEW YEAR'S RULIN'S-
1. WORK MORE AND BETTER
2. WORK BY A SCHEDULE
3. WASH TEETH IF ANY
...
33. WAKE UP AND FIGHT


Woody Guthrie's New Year's Resolutions, 1942
posted by obscurator on Dec 21, 2011 - 40 comments

Happy Birthday Woody Guthrie

Today would have been Woody Guthrie's ...99th birthday, and the beginning of his centennial year.
"Woody is just Woody. Thousands of people do not know he has any other name. He is just a voice and a guitar. He sings the songs of a people and I suspect that he is, in a way, that people. Harsh voiced and nasal, his guitar hanging like a tire iron on a rusty rim, there is nothing sweet about Woody, and there is nothing sweet about the songs he sings. But there is something more important for those who will listen. There is the will of a people to endure and fight against oppression. I think we call this the American spirit." - John Steinbeck
For fans, there's a webpage to organize events and such around his centennial. And here's something for those that don't know his work, and those that want to remember:

This Land Is Your Land
Biggest Thing Man Has Ever Done
Talking Dustbowl Blues
So long it's been good to know you
posted by Stagger Lee on Jul 14, 2011 - 48 comments

Talking Union

In 1941, Pete Seeger, Lee Hayes, Josh White and Millard Lampell [otherwise known as the Almanac Singers] recorded an album of union songs. (Pete Seeger discusses The Almanac Singers with Tim Robbins.[13m45s]) The six songs they chose were a mix of original compositions and legacy songs, all aimed at helping bolster organized labor. The album, Talking Union and Other Union Songs, would be re-released 14 years later in an expanded version on Smithsonian Folkways. [more inside]
posted by hippybear on Feb 20, 2011 - 29 comments

Bringing It All Back Home

50 Years Ago This Week, Bob Dylan Arrived in New York City
posted by Xurando on Feb 3, 2011 - 27 comments

Folk Music from 1947

To Hear Your Banjo Play is a documentary by Alan Lomax from 1947. It is narrated by Pete Seeger and features Woody Guthrie, Sonny Terry, and Brownie McGhee among others.
posted by RussHy on May 23, 2009 - 15 comments

Bootleg Woody Guthrie concert restored

... a small, heavy package wrapped in brown paper arrived in the mail at the Woody Guthrie Archives in New York City. Inside was a mess of wires. It wasn't a bomb - it turned out to be the only live recording of Woody Guthrie known to exist. The wire was fragile, bent, stretched and twisted. Jamie Howarth applied some algorithms he had developed to restore old recordings, and the result has been nominated for a Grammy.
posted by dylanjames on Feb 8, 2008 - 43 comments

1913 Massacre

Take a trip with me to 1913.
To Calumet, Michigan, in the Copper Country.
I'll take you to a place called Italian Hall,
Where the miners are having their big Christmas Ball.
This time of year, Woody Guthrie's haunting ballad "1913 Massacre" brings to mind one of the most tragic incidents in American labor history. At the midpoint of the bitter and violent miners' strike of 1913-14, miners and their families gathered for a Christmas party given by their union. An unidentified "stupid person" gave the shout of "fire", causing a panicked rush to escape. Unable to get out the door, more than 70 people, mostly children, were smothered to death. A forthcoming documentary (main link) explores the legacy of the event, using Guthrie's song as its starting point.
posted by Miko on Dec 21, 2005 - 19 comments

Alan Lomax 1915-2002

Alan Lomax, the legendary collector of folk music who was the first to record towering figures like Leadbelly, Muddy Waters and Woody Guthrie, died yesterday at a nursing home in Sarasota, Fla. He was 87. Mr. Lomax was a musicologist, author, disc jockey, singer, photographer, talent scout, filmmaker, concert and recording producer and television host. He did whatever was necessary to preserve traditional music and take it to a wider audience. (NY Times- Registraion Required) And... Additionally... And this. Also...
posted by y2karl on Jul 20, 2002 - 26 comments

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