Woody Guthrie- Musical Inspiration

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Woody Guthrie was a musical inspiration the many. Woodrow Wilson “Woody” Guthrie was born in 1912 and the events of his youth such as the great depression and the devastation of the Mid West during the dust bowl era shaped his life and his music.

Songwriters such as Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, Joe Strummer, Bruce Springsteen, and Tom Paxton have stated their debt to Woody Guthrie and how he influenced their careers.

Woody Guthrie traveled with migrant workers from Oklahoma to California in search of work and during this time learned traditional folk and blues songs and wrote many himself. Most of the songs he wrote were about his experiences in the Dust Bowl era during the Great Depression. These songs were why he was nicknamed the “Dust Bowl Troubadour”.

Woody Guthrie fathered eight children and his one son Arlo Guthrie followed in his footsteps as an American folk singer and composer and his granddaughter Sarah Lee Guthrie also followed the family tradition.

Woody’s life was anything but easy and the economy of the time made it difficult for the working class people to just survive. This struggle resounded in his music and in his outlook on life and as it wound up made him the success that he was.

This musical inspiration quote allows a glimpse into the mind of Woody Guthrie:

I hate a song that makes you think that you are not any good. I hate a song that makes you think that you are just born to lose. Bound to lose. No good to nobody. No good for nothing. Because you are too old or too young or too fat or too slim or too ugly or too this or too that. Songs that run you down or poke fun at you on account of your bad luck or hard travelling. I am out to fight those songs to my very last breath of air and my last drop of blood. I am out to sing songs that will prove to you that this is your world and that if it has hit you pretty hard and knocked you for a dozen loops, no matter what color, what size you are, how you are built, I am out to sing the songs that make you take pride in yourself and in your work. And the songs that I sing are made up for the most part by all sorts of folks just about like you. I could hire out to the other side, the big money side, and get several dollars every week just to quit singing my own kind of songs and to sing the kind that knock you down still farther and the ones that poke fun at you even more and the ones that make you think that you’ve not got any sense at all. But I decided a long time ago that I’d starve to death before I’d sing any such songs as that. The radio waves and your movies and your jukeboxes and your songbooks are already loaded down and running over with such no good songs as that anyhow.

? Woody Guthrie quote

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