Monday 21 Apr

Dustin Prinz - Eleven

Few musicians take the time to master their instrument in the way that Oklahoma City singer-songwriter Dustin Prinz has; he’s a guitar virtuoso in every sense of the word, and Eleven gives him the chance to show just how far he can push that skill.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Horse Thief – Fear in Bliss

Listening to Horse Thief’s previous release — the haphazardly melodramatic Grow Deep, Grow Wild — felt like a chore. Whatever potential the Oklahoma City folk-pop act demonstrated on the EP was obscured behind a formulaic, contrived and ultimately hollow cloud. But it at least offered a glimmer of promise for a band consisting of, frankly, five pretty talented dudes. Critics saw it; the band’s management saw it; its current label, Bella Union, saw it; and its increasingly fervid fan base saw it.
04/08/2014 | Comments 0

Colourmusic — May You Marry Rich

There’s always a sense of danger when debuting songs in a live setting and playing them well. Without having heard the studio versions, expectations are set according to the live incarnations. But capturing the breadth of free-flowing atmosphere and sheer volume on a disc, vinyl or digital file isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially for a band as vociferous as Colourmusic.
04/01/2014 | Comments 0

Em and the MotherSuperiors — Churches into Theaters

As titles go, Churches into Theaters is an apt descriptor for the debut album from Oklahoma City rockers Em and the MotherSuperiors. It’s a reverential record, one that shares the gospel of classic rock, blues and soul but embraces the need to refashion it for modern times, channeling The Dead Weather, Grace Potter and Cage the Elephant along the way.
03/25/2014 | Comments 0

Rachel Brashear — Revolution

Rachel Brashear’s second EP, Revolution, starts with a kick to the shins.
03/18/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Know your Woody!

Know your Woody!

Don't worry: This isn't for a grade.

Rod Lott July 11th, 2012

As Okemah celebrates the 100th birthday of favorite son Woody Guthrie today through Sunday with its annual free folk festival, we offer a primer on the man and his music. These facts are your facts.

6 Things You Might Not Know About Woody Guthrie

1. He hated the song “God Bless America,” so he penned “This Land Is Your Land” in response.
2. His hobbies included “allegedly rampant heterosexuality and ... out-of-control womanizing,” per the book A Queer World.
3. According to Billboard, he wrote more lyrics than actual music, as many of the melodies were from existing folk songs.
4. His father was once a Ku Klux Klan member in Okemah and participated in at least one lynching.
5. He wrote more than 1,000 songs in his lifetime.
6. His first band was named The Corncob Trio.

40 Words from Woody’s Original Copyright Notice for “This Land Is Your Land”

“Anybody caught singin’ it without our permission, will be mighty good friends of ourn, cause we don’t give a dern. Publish it. Write it. Sing it. Swing to it. Yodel it. We wrote it, that’s all we wanted to do.”

5 Brushes Woody Had with Fire

1. His family home in Okemah was destroyed by it.
2. When he was 7 years old, his sister Clara burned to death by a coal-oil fire in 1918.
3. Nine years later, his father suffered serious burns in a similar accident, requiring hospitalization in Texas.
4. His 4-year-old daughter, Cathy Ann, died in a fire, in 1947.
5. Woody severely burned his right arm in 1953 when a gasoline-doused campfire exploded. He was unable to play the guitar thereafter.

8 Things Famous People Have Said About Woody

1. “He is just a voice and a guitar. He sings the songs of a people and I suspect that he is, in a way, that people. Harsh voiced and nasal, his guitar hanging like a tire iron on a rusty rim, there is nothing sweet about Woody, and there is nothing sweet about the songs he sings. But there is something more important for those who will listen. There is the will of a people to endure and fight against oppression. I think we call this the American spirit.” —John Steinbeck
2. “You could listen to his songs and actually learn how to live.” —Bob Dylan
3. “I think he must have been a genius.” —Jimi Hendrix
4. “Woody lives and I’m glad.” —John Lennon
5. “The main thing is that Woody’s always standing up for the little guy — the people who are being oppressed. It’s not just a civil rights thing. He’s always stand ing on the side of the people.” —Wayne Coyne
6. “Woody is my hero of heroes and the only person on earth that I will go to my grave regretting I never met.” —Steve Earle
7. “He was blowing against the wind, and you have to admire a guy for that.” —John Mellencamp
8. “He was a communist.” —Glenn Beck

10 Random Artists Who Have Covered Woody’s Songs

1. Harry Belafonte
2. Johnny Cash
3. The New Christy Minstrels
4. Dolly Parton
5. The Alarm
6. Concrete Blonde
7. Ani DiFranco
8. Hot Tuna
9. Indigo Girls
10. Linda Ronstadt

3 Actors Who Played Woody

1. David Carradine in Bound for Glory (1976)
2. Joseph Boley in Alice’s Restaurant (1969)
3. Rick Sharp in TV’s American Masters: Woody Guthrie: Ain’t Got No Home (2006)

3 Other Famous Woodys

1. Woody Allen
2. Woody Harrelson
3. Woody Woodpecker

1 RoboCop Star Performing at This Year’s WoodyFest

1. Ronny Cox, who’s an accomplished guitarist.

Hey! Read This:
The Making of Woody at 100
Woody Guthrie centennial concert feature  
• Woody Guthrie's legacy

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5