13 Jul 2012

100 Years of Woody Guthrie

American folk singer, author, artist, and political activist Woody Guthrie would have turned 100 on 14 July 2012, had he not died in 1967 of Huntington's disease. Armed with a guitar labelled 'this machine kills fascists' Guthrie became a mouthpiece for the underdog, the under-priviledged, and disenfranchised. Though his career was short, his legacy lives on - Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, and Billy Bragg among the many songwriters today who cite Woody Guthrie as a huge influence. A new collection of his songs has just been released for the centennial - three discs including photos, drawings and essays and radio performances. Music 101 host Kirsten Johnstone talks to its compiler and head of the Folklife Archives at the Smithsonian Institute, Jeff Place.