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NASHVILLE HONORS WOODY GUTHRIE
WITH MONTH-LONG TRIBUTE


BELCOURT FILM FESTIVAL SHOWING
ROLL ON, COLUMBIA: WOODY GUTHRIE AND THE BONNEVILLE POWER ADMINISTRATION

Woody Guthrie was hired in 1941 to write songs for a new US government project to create a public works organization that would provide low-cost energy to the farms in Washington State. The project met with a lot of resistance from the private electric companies, and the government decided to create a short film to promote the efforts of distributing power through publically-owned means as well as to get people to look favorably on the dams. Woody wrote 26 songs in 30 days, including ROLL ON, COLUMBIA, GRAND COULEE DAM, and PASTURES OF PLENTY.

The film was not made in 1941 because of World War II, but in 1948 a version was released. And it was almost destroyed, except that an employee of the BPA, named Elmer Buehler, who drove Woody around the Northwest in 1941, took a copy of the movie home after orders were given to him to burn BPA's copies. He hid that copy in his woodpile! The film was re-discovered in the late 1960's, after a researcher at the University of Oklahoma asked Buehler about it. The recordings and lyrics from Woody's songs were re-discovered and collected by Bill Murlin in the mid 1980's and published in 1987. The songbook collected all 26 songs for the first time, and an album issued recordings of Woody playing and singing 17 of his Northwest songs. In both cases, some songs were published for the first time.In the late 1990's, Michael Madjic and Denise Matthews created this documentary which includes original footage from the BPA film simply called THE COLUMBIA.

Come see the third movie in our Woody Guthrie Film Festival at The Belcourt Theatre. The film begins at 7:30 pm and admission is $6.75.

UPCOMING FILMS

January 29th, 2003: MAN IN THE SAND: Thirty years after Woody Guthrie's death, his daughter Nora, discovering a vast treasure of unrecorded, never-before-seen Guthrie lyrics, decided to seek out a contemporary artist to "help look for the man behind the myth." This film is the story of how Nora and Woody Guthrie Acolyte Billy Bragg, along with Wilco, brought Woody's words to life and created the Grammy nominated albums Mermaid Avenue and Mermaid Avenue Vol. 2. Directed by Kim Hopkins. Union Productions, 1999 (89 min.)

February 2nd, 2003: A VISION SHARED special screening with musicians and discussion: This incredible collection of artists and songs features powerful new versions of Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly's most important and influential music. In interviews and performances, filmed in a variety of locations, the superstars of today pay tribute to these two legendary folk heroes. Directed by Jim Brown. Starring John Mellencamp, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, Bruce Springsteen, Emmylou Harris, Taj Mahal, Little Richard, U2, and Willie Nelson. Columbia Music Video, 1988 (72 min).

Leadbelly's niece, Nashville resident Tiny Robinson, will talk before the film, as well as musicians including Beth Nielsen Chapman discussing Woody's and/or Leadbelly's influence on their music, accompanied by live performance. All proceeds from this viewing benefit the Woody Guthrie Foundation/Archives.


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