Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Woody Guthrie at 100: Democracy Now

For all kinds of reasons, I found this far more interesting than I thought I might. It gets somewhat disturbing around the ten minute mark for a spell, but regardless, it is interesting throughout.

Woody Guthrie at 100: Pete Seeger, Billy Bragg, Will Kaufman Honor the "Dust Bowl Troubadour"
July 4 2012

Commemorations are being held across the country this year to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of one of the country’s greatest songwriters, Woody Guthrie. Born on July 14, 1912, in Okemah, Oklahoma, Guthrie wrote hundreds of folk songs, including "This Land Is Your Land," "Pastures of Plenty," "Pretty Boy Floyd," "Do Re Mi" and "The Ranger’s Command." While Guthrie is best remembered as a musician, he also had a deeply political side. At the height of McCarthyism, Guthrie spoke out for labor and civil rights and against fascism. In this one-hour special, you will hear interviews and music from folk singer Pete Seeger, the British musician Billy Bragg, and the historian Will Kaufman, author of the new book, "Woody Guthrie, American Radical."

"Woody’s original songs, the songs that he wrote back in the 1930s ... with these images of people losing their houses to the banks, of gamblers on the stock markets making millions, when ordinary working people can’t afford to make ends meet, and of people dying for want of proper free healthcare, you know, this song could have been written anytime in the last five years, really, in the United States of America," says Bragg, who has long been inspired by Guthrie.

Guthrie’s most famous song, “This Land Is Your Land,” was written in 1940 in response to Kate Smith’s "God Bless America.” "Woody saw ['God Bless America'] as a strident, jingoistic, complacent, tub-thumping anthem to American greatness,” Kaufman says. “And now, he had just come from the Dust Bowl. He’d just come from the barbed-wire gates of California’s Eden there. He’d seen the Hoovervilles. He’d seen the bread lines. He’d seen labor activists getting their heads busted. And so, he’s thinking, what — God bless — what America, you know, is Kate Smith singing of?” In 2009, Pete Seeger and Bruce Springsteen performed “This Land Is Your Land” for the inauguration of President Obama. Transcript


SteelMagnolia said...

Hi H.
I have put a couple of links together and quite frankly I am shocked. Could Assange be a fake or is he being used ? If he is being used how can he be so dumb as to even suggest 9/11 was a terrorist act ? The link I have connected with that of Syd Walker's clearly states that the invasion of Iraq was planned eight months before 9/11. The video is certainly an eye opener for me.

Your computer problem, I will ask a friend if he knows what you mean as I am strictly a C/P type of gal as you well know.

Himself said...

I'm not having the best of days Dani, I'm not long back in and I'm still trying to recover data that I inadvertently binned on the other (new) PC.

Consequently I haven't opened any links, so I'm in no position to comment on anything.

But I can tell you, and you will have to dig it out yourself, but it is out there.

Invading Iraq was on the agenda even before W even ran or was elected Prez.

All I can remember (vaguely) that the conversation took place in Texas when the Repubs were trying to get W to run for POTUS.

Happy hunting, but it is no secret.

Asa you will see, I have sorted my PC problem, and given myself another. I can't log on to anything via the new PC.

SteelMagnolia said...

Just looking in to check you are OK . :) xx