The unconventional folk hero and vagabond troubadour Woody Guthrie was a prolific writer who famously emblazoned his guitar with the slogan ‘this machine kills fascists’, as he spent his relatively short life telling myriad American stories in song. On The Music Show today we’re celebrating Woody Guthrie on the centenary of his birth, in an interview with Robert Santelli, author of a book called This Land is Your Land: Woody Guthrie and the Journey of an American Folksong, which looks at the life of Woody Guthrie through the prism of his most famous song, a song which became an American anthem, and now transcends generations and nations.
Music excerpts in this segment from ‘This Land is your Land’, Comp. Guthrie, from the Asch Recordings, Vol.1; and the Lincoln Memorial concert in 2009. Complete tracks:
Do re mi Comp. Guthrie Perf Woody Guthrie CD: This Machine Kills Fascists, Woody Guthrie Snapper Music Boxed set SBOX0009
God Bless America Comp. Berlin Perf. Kate Smith, Jack Miller’s Orchestra and Chorus CD: Kate Smith: God Bless America Pro Harte CDD 518
Pretty Boy Floyd Comp. Guthrie Perf. Bob Dylan CD: Folkways, A Vision Shared, A Tribute to Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly CBS 4609052