The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #144405   Message #3338885
Posted By: Desert Dancer
15-Apr-12 - 09:25 PM
Thread Name: Woodie Guthrie Square Created
Subject: RE: Woodie Guthrie Square Created
Woody at 100 official site.

LA Times: Woody Guthrie Square dedicated in downtown Los Angeles
Los Angeles' skid row is a difficult place to glamorize. Cardboard boxes, tents and rundown hotels are home for hundreds of residents even as lofts and new restaurants open in the downtown district.

The corner of 4th and Main streets has earned a place on the map as the center of the Old Bank District, and now the intersection is to be known as Woody Guthrie Square to commemorate the singer, songwriter and political activist's roots in this part of the city where he lived for a while before moving to Glendale.

City Councilwoman Jan Perry sponsored the motion to name the area after Guthrie and was joined Thursday morning by Nora Guthrie, his daughter who oversees the Guthrie archives, to unveil the sign.

To celebrate the centenary of his birth, USC and the Grammy Museum have organized events Saturday on campus and at Club Nokia, where a 7:30 concert is scheduled featuring Jackson Browne, John Doe, Kris Kristofferson and Tom Morello.

Guthrie, not long after arriving in California in the late 1930s, lived in and found work downtown washing dishes, painting signs and singing on street corners and in bars. One of his first gigs was on radio station KFVD, where he gave voice to the injustices of the day.

"California is a Garden of Eden, / A Paradise to live in or see, / But believe it or not, you won't find it so hot, / If you ain't got the do re mi."

His criticism of the Golden State was fueled by the "bum blockade," the practice in which the Los Angeles police set up road blocks to turn back people who looked like they might not be employable. Security on railroads was also tightened, and anti-migrant sentiment took the form of an "anti-Okie" petition in 1939.

Guthrie eventually lost that job, and on the train to New York in 1940 began to write "This Land Is Your Land."

Yesterday in L.A. there was a conference at UCLA and a tribute concert, but last month when I was trying to look them up, it was pretty hard to get any details. The Grammy folks have been organizing it, and they're not well connected with the folk folks. The concert featured Grammy-type folks.

Here's a review of the tribute concert last night (that I found by Googling): Woody Guthrie Centennial Concert Was Remarkable Tribute

Woody Guthrie's Los Angeles - this is a really nice article in the Huffington Post, by Peter Dreier, of Occidental College.

~ Becky in Long Beach