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Woody Guthrie

"Woodrow Wilson Guthrie" (July 14, 1912 in Okemah, Oklahoma, - October 3, 1967 in Queens, New York) was an influential and prolific American folk musician noted for his identification with the common man, and for his abhorrence of fascism and economic exploitation. He is best known for his song "This Land Is Your Land". He is the father of musician Arlo Guthrie.

His parents named him after Woodrow Wilson, who was elected president in the same year.

At age 19, he left home for Texas, where he met and married his first wife, Mary Jennings, with whom he had three children. He used his musical talents to earn money as a street musician and by doing small gigs. He left Texas and his family with the coming of the Dust Bowl era, following the Okies to California. The poverty he saw on these early trips affected him greatly, and many of his songs are concerned with the conditions faced by the working class. He frequently donated money made from his music gigs and busking to help various peoples and causes. A lifelong socialist and trade unionist, he also contributed a regular column, "Woody Sez," to the ''Daily Worker'' and ''People's World'' newspapers.

In the late 1930s...

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