News & Reviews

News
01
Sept.

Article - "Looking for Woody"

by Joel Rafael
Courtesy of Elmore Magazine


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I've packed my clothes, gear and guitar for my annual journey to Okema, Oklahoma, a small town of about 3,000 people located some 70 miles east of Oklahoma City on Interstate 40. I've made the trip to the birthplace of Woodrow Wilson Guthrie and the home of the Woody Guthrie Free Folk Festival 14 times before. Looking for Woody - by Joel RafaelIt is said that Will Rogers, one of Guthrie's strongest influences, was the most famous Oklahoman in the whole country, but Woody Guthrie is the most famous Oklahoman in the whole wide world. I recently toured in Italy and Spain, and even in Europe, Woody's legacy lives on. Unlike here in North America, where Woody is known as the guy who wrote "This Land is Your Land," in Europe he is known as the guy with the sign on his guitar that said "This Machine Kills Fascists," the guy who sang the songs of the workers and the underdogs.

As I get on the road, I'm flooded with thoughts about Woody, his town, his life and his legacy. After a century, he is finally being recognized as one of America's greatest literary treasures.

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