by Lester Balog
Ain’t Dead Yet"
lived through some of the most significant historic movements and
events of the Twentieth-Century --the Great Depression, the Great
Dust Storm, World War II, the social and the political upheavals
resulting from Unionism, the Communist Party and the Cold War--
Woody absorbed it all to become a prolific writer whose songs, ballads,
prose and poetry captured the plight of everyman. While traveling
throughout the American landscape during the 1930s, '40s, and '50s,
Woody's observations of what he saw and experienced has left for
us a lasting and sometimes haunting legacy of images, sounds, and
voices of the marginalized, disenfranchised, and oppressed people
with whom he struggled to survive despite all odds. Although the
corpus of original Woody Guthrie songs, or as Woody preferred "people's
songs" are, perhaps, his most recognized contribution to American
culture, the stinging honesty, humor, and wit found even in his
most vernacular prose writings exhibit Woody's fervent belief in
social, political, and spiritual justice.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and Case Western
Reserve University presented a ten day celebration honoring Woody
Guthrie, entitled Hard Travelin'. It was the first major
conference on the legacy of Woody Guthrie complete with a photo
exhibition, lectures, films, and two benefit concerts, which were
held in support of the Woody Guthrie Archive.
Woody’s 100th birthday!
*For a complete list of conferences, events, and public programs - visit www.woody100.com
The year-long celebrations, co-produced by Nora Guthrie and Robert Santelli (Executive Director of the GRAMMY Museum Foundation) included; educational conferences, exhibits, adult and elementary school outreach programs & presentations, and concerts that followed Woody’s road from Oklahoma through California and on to New York City.
THE FIRST STOP on the centennial tour was Woody's home state, Oklahoma. On March 10th, the all-star concert featured: Arlo Guthrie, John Mellencamp, The Del McCoury Band with Tim O'Brien,Rosanne Cash with John Leventhal, The Flaming Lips, Hanson, Jimmy LaFave, and Old Crow Medicine Show, and took place at the Brady Theater in the downtown Brady Arts District of Tulsa, OK.
THE SECOND STOP was Pampa, Texas, for an intimate evening performance by Arlo Guthrie, titled Woody's Road to Pampa.
THE THIRD STOP was Club Nokia in Los Angeles, California, where on April 14, all all-star concert featured: Jackson Browne, Kris Kristofferson, Graham Nash, Van Dyke Parks, Tom Morello, Dawes,John Doe, Joe Henry, Rob Wasserman, Joel Rafael, Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion, and Ramblin' Jack Elliott.
THE FOURTH STOP was the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College. On September 22, 2012 our all-star tribute to Woody featured: Judy Collins, Billy Bragg, Steve Earle,Tony Trischka Band, The Klezmatics, John Cohen & The Dust Busters, Mike + Ruthy, Jay Ungar & Molly Mason, and Pete Seeger.
THE FIFTH AND FINAL STOP was The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, on October 14, 2012 and featured: John Mellencamp, Jackson Browne, Ry Cooder and Dan Gellert, Judy Collins, Del McCoury Band with Tim O'Brien, Ani DiFranco, Tom Morello, Rosanne Cash with John Leventhal,Lucinda Williams, Donovan, Old Crow Medicine Show, Jimmy LaFave, Joel Rafael, Rob Wasserman, Tony Trischka, Sweet Honey In The Rock, and Ramblin' Jack Elliott. Woody Guthrie at 100! Live at the Kennedy Center was released to CD & DVD on Sony Legacy Records and premiered on PBS.
Woody Guthrie Center opens!
On April 28, 2013, The Woody Guthrie Center opened in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Nora Guthrie along with Robert Santelli (Executive Director of the GRAMMY Museum Foundation) and the George Kaiser Family Foundation created the permanent home for the Woody Guthrie Archive, complete with a permanent exhibit on the life and legacy of Woody Guthrie, a temporary gallery space, and a 60-seat theater. The Woody Guthrie Center, located in the heart of the Brady Arts District, is dedicated to educating people on the powerful and intangible legacy Woody Guthrie has left.
Guthrie has been recognized for his monumental contributions and
achievements in American culture. He has been the recipient of prestigious
awards both from governmental departments and private arts organizations.
Department of the Interior, Conservation Service Award (1966)
The Songwriters' Hall of Fame inductee (1970)
The Nashville Songwriters' Hall of Fame inductee (1977)
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee (1988)
The North American Folk Alliance Lifetime Achievement Award (1996)
National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, Lifetime Achievement Award (1999)
The Oklahoma Hall of Fame inductee (2006)
The Songwriters' Hall of Fame, Pioneer Award (2012)