Friday, July 13, 2012

Woody Guthrie at 100 on the Radio

Woodrow Wilson Guthrie was born on July 14, 1912, in Okemah, Oklahoma. He was the second-born son of Charles and Nora Belle Guthrie. His father – a cowboy, land speculator, and local politician – taught Woody Western songs, Indian songs, and Scottish folk tunes. His Kansas-born mother, also musically inclined, had an equally profound effect on Woody.
"Okemah was one of the singingest, square dancingest, drinkingest, yellingest, preachingest, walkingest, talkingest, laughingest, cryingest, shootingest, fist fightingest, bleedingest, gamblingest, gun, club and razor carryingest of our ranch towns and farm towns, because it blossomed out into one of our first Oil Boom Towns." - Woody Guthrie Source: Pastures of Plenty, pg. 3

This weekend a few NYC Radio stations will join in the celebration of his birthday.

WFDU (89.1 FM): Ron Olesko’s “Traditions,” 3-6 p.m. Sunday, will be devoted entirely to Guthrie. It will include excerpts from a 1977 interview with his second wife, Marjorie. Listen here
WFUV (90.7 FM): Friday, “Question of the Day” at 9:30 a.m. and “Under the Covers” at noon will be Guthrie music. Dennis Elsas will play a Guthrie set, 3-3:30 p.m. Listen here
On Saturday, Don McGee will feature Guthrie on “Mixed Bag,” 4-8 p.m. Sunday, John Platt will talk with Guthrie’s daughter Nora and his biographer Joe Klein on “Sunday Breakfast,” 8-11 a.m. Robert Sherman’s “Woody’s Children” will continue its month-long tribute, 4-5 p.m. Listen here
WKCR (89.9 FM): Festival of Guthrie music, 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday. Includes many of his recordings plus contemporary musicians playing his songs live. Listen here
SiriusXM Satellite: The Village, Internet Ch. 804, will feature Woody all day Saturday.
There is also an interactive celebration of Guthrie’s birthday, which can be found at
It features more than a dozen singers, including Peter Yarrow, Jeff Daniels, Christine Lavin and others singing a Doug Mishkin song called, appropriately, “Woody’s Children.”

Like everything Woody Guthrie wrote, it’s designed for singing along, and anyone who listens to the video can add his or her own voice.
The hope is that it will have a cast of thousands by the time it is played in November at the 92nd St. Y.
Nonradio celebrations around the city include a show at City Winery Friday night, hosted by Steve Earle with Billy Bragg. 
They will also perform Saturday night before a free showing of the Guthrie bio-pic “Bound for Glory” on the beach at Coney Island, 3059 W. 12th St., at 8 p.m.


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