Woody Guthrie, singer, songwriter, dean of American folk artists is seen in a 1947 publicity photo. (AP Photo/RCA Victor)
Listen to a tribute to Woody Guthrie on A Celtic Sojourn
BOSTON — Brian O'Donovan, host of A Celtic Sojourn on 89.7 WGBH Radio, shares music from Celtic artists covering Woody Guthrie songs, in tribute to the folk music legend's 100th birthday.
Woody Guthrie grew up learning Western and Indian songs, and also Scottish folk tunes, from his father, a cowboy and land speculator who settled his family in Oklahoma. After the Great Depression and the storms that turned the country's breadbasket into a dustbowl, Woody hit the road and made a living doing odd jobs and performing music, beginning a musical career and leaving a legacy that extends to musicians now. Pete Seeger revived interest in Guthrie's music and emulated his plain talking lyrics when speaking out against war, greed and corruption.
Listen to some of today's artists perform Guthrie's works: Solas sings "Pastures of Plenty", Dick Gaughan sings "Ludlow Massacre" and Christie Moore, from the group Planxty, which was greatly influenced by the American Folk revival in the 1970s, sings "Pretty Boy Floyd, the Outlaw".
One of the lines that stands out from that last song:
As true this world he traveled, you'll meet some funny men. Some will rob you with a six-gun, some with a fountain pen.