This Saturday, the legendary populist troubadour Woody Guthrie would have turned 100. Guthrie, best known for his iconic song “This Land Is Your Land,” has had as profound an influence as perhaps any musician in US, and perhaps world, history.
Born a hundred years ago on July 14, 1912, in Okemah, Oklahoma, Guthrie wrote hundreds of folk songs and countless ballads, as well as some beloved children’s music, and became a decisive influence on innumerable musicians, most famously Bob Dylan. The “People’s Bard” is rightly remembered as a transformative musician and song writer whose political activism and consistent advocacy for civil rights and economic equality, especially at the height of McCarthyism, inspired many others to stand tall and fight back. He scrawled “This Machine Kills Fascists” on his guitar, and he meant it.
This centennial occasion is being marked coast to coast with concerts, conferences and countless celebrations. Check out this national schedule of events and watch the videos below as a tribute to the man whose legacy includes some of the most powerful protest songs ever written.
1. Bound for Glory performed by Tom Morello, Graham Nash, Nora Guthrie, Jack Elliott, Jackson Browne and friends (adapted; origin unknown.)
2. Plane Wreck/Deportees performed by Joan Baez
3. Pastures of Plenty performed by Woody Guthrie
4. This Land is Your Land performed by Bruce Springsteen
5. Union Maid performed by Billy Bragg & Dar Wlliams