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22 May - 11:56 pm NZ
Starts at 7:00 pm on Monday, 9 July 2012
The songs of Woody Guthrie (1912-1967) provided a soundtrack for the American Depression years, telling tales of Dustbowl hardship and the seemingly never-ending class struggle. Guthrie’s guitar bore the legend “This Machine Kills Fascists” and his fervour and commitment as a performer found him working alongside such activists as Leadbelly and Pete Seeger. Most importantly, Guthrie inspired generations of musicians to put their art in the service of making the world a better and fairer place. William Dart presents an introduction to the music and influence of this seminal figure.
William Dart looks at Woody Guthrie and his music in the context of contemporaries such as the Almanac Singers, Alan Lomax, Earl Robinson, Pete Seeger and The Weavers .
Tuesday & Wednesday: Bob Dylan and the 60s folk revolution, Parts 1 & 2
Bob Dylan famously wrote his “Song to Woody” in 1962, writing some of the most celebrated and trenchant protest songs of the period. Others followed, from Joan Baez and Judy Collins, to Buffy Sainte-Marie and Phil Ochs. These two programmes look at the songs of these and other figures of the time.
Thursday: Tribute Time
Contemporary musicians pay tribute to Woody Guthrie in albums ranging from the 1988 Folkways: A Vision Shared through 2000’s Til We Outnumber ‘Em to last year’s Note of Hope. Billy Bragg and Wilco took a more radical step by setting Guthrie’s unpublished lyrics in the various installments of their Mermaid Avenue project.
Friday: And the protest goes on . . . . .
The challenge of protest had always been taken up by traditional folksingers on both sides of the Atlantic. More recently it has informed musicians ranging from Leon Rosselson, June Tabor and Chumbawumba through to various concerned musicians from Aotearoa New Zealand.
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