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|Tags:||folk singer-songwriter country americana political|
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Woodrow Wilson Guthrie, 14 July 1912, Okemah, Oklahoma, USA, d. 3 October 1967, New York City, New York, USA. A major figure of Americas folk heritage, Guthrie was raised in a musical environment and achieved proficiency on harmonica as a child. Though his family was relatively prosperous during his early years (his father Charley was a land speculator), by the age of 16 they had fallen on hard times and Woody had begun his itinerant lifestyle, performing in a Texas-based magic show where he learned to play guitar. In 1935, Guthrie moved to California where he became a regular attraction on Los Angeles KFVD radio station. Having befriended singer Cisco Houston and actor Will Geer, Guthrie established his left wing-orientated credentials with joint appearances at union meetings and migrant labour camps. Already a prolific songwriter, his reactions to the poverty he witnessed inspired several of his finest compositions, notably Pastures Of...