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Woody Guthrie Traveling Exhibit Story

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katlaughing 31 May 00 - 03:48 PM
Rick Fielding 31 May 00 - 04:18 PM
Jacob B 31 May 00 - 05:59 PM
katlaughing 31 May 00 - 07:01 PM
catspaw49 31 May 00 - 10:36 PM
Little Neophyte 31 May 00 - 10:50 PM
GUEST,Ron Olesko 01 Jun 00 - 09:40 AM
Jacob B 01 Jun 00 - 10:00 AM
catspaw49 01 Jun 00 - 10:14 AM
Whistle Stop 01 Jun 00 - 10:49 AM
Art Thieme 02 Jun 00 - 03:06 PM
bflat 02 Jun 00 - 05:02 PM
Nathan in Texas 02 Jun 00 - 06:38 PM
catspaw49 02 Jun 00 - 07:50 PM
bflat 02 Jun 00 - 09:07 PM
catspaw49 02 Jun 00 - 09:15 PM
bflat 02 Jun 00 - 10:17 PM
Little Neophyte 02 Jun 00 - 10:49 PM
canoer 03 Jun 00 - 02:03 AM
Frankham 03 Jun 00 - 07:15 PM
canoer 04 Jun 00 - 02:26 AM
katlaughing 04 Jun 00 - 02:18 PM
Frankham 04 Jun 00 - 02:19 PM
canoer 05 Jun 00 - 10:06 AM
canoer 05 Jun 00 - 10:17 AM
GUEST,Ron Olesko 05 Jun 00 - 10:43 AM
GUEST,Ron Olesko 05 Jun 00 - 10:52 AM
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Subject: Woody Guthrie Traveling Exhibit Story
From: katlaughing
Date: 31 May 00 - 03:48 PM

Hi, all, just listened to a wonderful story about the Woody Guthrie Traveling Exhibit, archived on NPR. The exhibit is at the Smithsonian right now and will travel until 2001, when it will wind up back in Oklahoma.

The NPR audio file includes a clip of a 1940 interview of Woody talking about the people who fled the dustbowl to California and him singing a bit of If Ya Ain't Got the Do Re Mi; there were also some other clips of him singing.

The exhibit follows his life from birth to death and includes photos, his banjo and mandolin, and other memorabilia. There is also a tribute from young musicians, such as Ani DeFranco, who have felt his influence.

Well worth the listen, and visit if you are close to wherever it goes.

kat


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Subject: RE: Woody Guthrie Traveling Exhibit Story
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 31 May 00 - 04:18 PM

Thanks kat. Right up my alley.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Woody Guthrie Traveling Exhibit Story
From: Jacob B
Date: 31 May 00 - 05:59 PM

I heard the NPR story, but unfortunately they didn't give the schedule of what cities the exhibit will visit, and when. If anyone finds out the schedule, please post it here!


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Subject: RE: Woody Guthrie Traveling Exhibit Story
From: katlaughing
Date: 31 May 00 - 07:01 PM

Sure, Rick.

Jacob, I found teh Smithsonian site which lists where it will be, but it is given by region and is extensive, so if you go to this page, then you can click on their map & it will list places which have booked it. It goes through 2002, so some bookings haven't been made, yet. I've included more below, but first this from the official website for the Woody Guthrie Free Folk Festival:

Pete Seeger, June 1967:
When Woody Guthrie was singing hillbilly songs on a little Los Angeles radio station in the late 1930s, he used to mail out a small mimeographed songbook to listeners who wanted the words to his songs, On the bottom of one page appeared the following: "This song is Copyrighted in U.S., under Seal of Copyright # 154085, for a period of 28 years, and 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." W.G.

THIS IS FROM THE NOTES FOR THE EXHIBITION:

One single life can sometimes be a mirror for the lives of many, for the soul of a nation. This life is Woody Guthrie's. This nation is America in his time.

- from the exhibition script

This Land is Your Land explores the life and work of one of America's greatest folk heroes, Woody Guthrie. Poet, singer, artist, and humorist, Woodrow Wilson Guthrie fled Dust-Bowl poverty to commence a life of music and adventure that never lost ties to the less-advantaged in American society. His deep empathy for the common man infused his music with purpose and sparked a life-long dedication to social activism. Woody was a traveling folklorist, collecting cowboy songs, mountain ballads, religious music, blues, and work chants and then blending these styles into more than 1,000 original songs, each revealing an aspect of the American soul.

Woody's times were ripe for songs of the people. His prodigious output spanned only 17 years, during which he churned out poems, two novels, and hundreds of letters, essays, and newspaper columns, in addition to the innumerable songs. He drew and painted prolifically and recorded hundreds of songs, both traditional tunes and his own compositions. He sang about love, war, children at play, natural disasters, unionism, and fascism. Literary critics have called him the Walt Whitman of the 20th century--others say he was the workingman's James Joyce. Woody Guthrie's "ballads" echo in the music of Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, and many of today's emerging songwriters, such as Billy Bragg, continue to look to his work. As folk artist and diarist, his immense œuvre of drawings and autobiographical musings illustrate the world as he saw it.

For the first time, Guthrie's personal archive of drawings, song lyrics, notebooks, manuscripts, diaries, and photographs will be available to the public. SITES and the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, in collaboration with Nora Guthrie, executive director of the Woody Guthrie Archives, has created an exhibition that draws from rarely seen objects, illustrations, film footage, and unreleased performances to reveal a complex man who was at once poet, musician, protester, idealist, itinerant hobo, and folk legend.

http://www.si.edu/sites/schedule/schedule.htm


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Subject: RE: Woody Guthrie Traveling Exhibit Story
From: catspaw49
Date: 31 May 00 - 10:36 PM

At the moment only DC, New York, Tacoma, and LA are booked, but there are only a couple of open slots. The DC exhibit runs at the Am.Hist. Museum from May til September...good deal for all the DC bunch.

Thanks for the info kat.....doesn't look good for the home team though.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Woody Guthrie Traveling Exhibit Story
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 31 May 00 - 10:50 PM

Thanks kat, this is very timely for me as right now I am half way through 'Woody Guthrie, A Life by Joe Klein
My mind has been wrapped around thinking what Woody's life must have been like. I was glad to find this thread.

Bonnie


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Subject: RE: Woody Guthrie Traveling Exhibit Story
From: GUEST,Ron Olesko
Date: 01 Jun 00 - 09:40 AM

Check out the webpage of the Woody Guthrie Foundation - www.woodyguthrie.org . If you then click on Foundation and Archive Projects you will find a description and schedule of the tour.

Having seen the exhibit in NYC I urge everyone to go. The films that were shown as part of the exhibit are astounding. Reading and hearing about Woody's fight with Huntington's Chorea cannot prepare you for the impact of seeing film footage of Woody in his later days as his family visited him in the hospital. This footage has never been shown in public before. I attended an opening and Arlo was there to talk about it. He said that although the footage may be hard to watch, to him and his family they were having a great day with their father.

At the NYC exhibit they also had the original copy of Woody's "This Land is Your Land". Scribbled on notebook paper, it was inspiring to see this "holy grail" of folk music.

I really urge EVERYONE to check out the exhibit if it travels near you. I hope that someday it will find a permanent home.


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Subject: RE: Woody Guthrie Traveling Exhibit Story
From: Jacob B
Date: 01 Jun 00 - 10:00 AM

Thanks, kat and Ron. Here's the schedule from the Woody Guthrie Foundation site:

The exhibition is scheduled to tour museums throughout the country for three years.

Tour Schedule

February 5 - April 23, 2000 Museum of the City of New York, New York, NY
May 13 - September 4, 2000 National Museum of American History, Washington D.C.
December 9, 2000 - March 4, 2001 Vertical Productions, Minneapolis, MN
July 7 - September 30, 2001 Washington State Historical Society, Tacoma, WA
October 30, 2001 - January 2002 Oakland Museum, Oakland, CA
February 2 - April 28, 2002 Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City, OK


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Subject: RE: Woody Guthrie Traveling Exhibit Story
From: catspaw49
Date: 01 Jun 00 - 10:14 AM

Prior to New York, the exhibit was in LA, now its in DC. Out of curiosity, has anyone around here seen this yet?

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Woody Guthrie Traveling Exhibit Story
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 01 Jun 00 - 10:49 AM

Bonnie, that's an excellent book. I read it years ago, and will probably take a second pass at it before too long. Notwithstanding Klein's troubles with the "anonymously" written Primary Colors, he's a damn good writer, with a lot of insight.


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Subject: RE: Woody Guthrie Traveling Exhibit Story
From: Art Thieme
Date: 02 Jun 00 - 03:06 PM

Joe Klein also owned up to having been the author of the anonymous PRIMARY COLORS. As Cathy Fink said to me recently, 'It's hard to reconcile that the same guy wrote those two books.'

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Woody Guthrie Traveling Exhibit Story
From: bflat
Date: 02 Jun 00 - 05:02 PM

Briefly, this is an AMAZING exhibit. Saw it in NYC. Spent a few hours. Left with an understanding of how huge a figure he was. How he not only composed activist material but his way of living was evidence of his personal commitment. A sample of Woody's writing bears this thought: MUSIC IS JUST A HANDY WAY OF TELLING WHATS ON YOUR MIND---NO MIND--NO MUSIC.

Don't you love it?


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Subject: RE: Woody Guthrie Traveling Exhibit Story
From: Nathan in Texas
Date: 02 Jun 00 - 06:38 PM

Bonnie,
Klein's book is fine, but if you haven't read "Bound for Glory" by Woody himself, don't miss it. It's a "Must Read" for anyone who's interested Woody's life and music.


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Subject: RE: Woody Guthrie Traveling Exhibit Story
From: catspaw49
Date: 02 Jun 00 - 07:50 PM

Another real fine book with some good insight is "Woody, Cisco, and Me" by Jim Longhi. A damn good read.

I'm glad to hear from someone who has seen the exhibit! Thanks bflat for a sharp report.......

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Woody Guthrie Traveling Exhibit Story
From: bflat
Date: 02 Jun 00 - 09:07 PM

Why Spaw, aren't you a Natural!

bflat


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Subject: RE: Woody Guthrie Traveling Exhibit Story
From: catspaw49
Date: 02 Jun 00 - 09:15 PM

I can tell you can still see sharp bflat because it was a flat pun.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Woody Guthrie Traveling Exhibit Story
From: bflat
Date: 02 Jun 00 - 10:17 PM

I found the following quote of Woody's that was on a pamphlet I saved from the exhibit. It's worth sharing.

"I am out to sing songs that will prove to you that this is your world and that if it has hit you pretty hard and knocked you for a dozen loops, no matter how hard it's run you down, and rolled over you, no matter what color, what size you are, how you are built; I am out to sing the songs that will make you take pride in yourself and in your work." --Woody Guthrie.

It's my habit to hold on to wisdom and look back on it as often as is needed. Hope you got something out of it. The exhibit is loaded with this elegence.


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Subject: RE: Woody Guthrie Traveling Exhibit Story
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 02 Jun 00 - 10:49 PM

It sure is a good read Whistle Stop. Klein has some good insights into Woody's intriguing character.
Rick lent me the book and he also lent me 'American Folksong Woody Guthrie' published in 1961 which has the type written story 'My Life' written by Woody. It also has many cartoons and illustrations Woody drew.

Nathan in Texas, after I finish reading Klein's book I will look for 'Bound for Glory'. It will be interesting to compare the two books.

Bonnie


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Subject: RE: Woody Guthrie Traveling Exhibit Story
From: canoer
Date: 03 Jun 00 - 02:03 AM

"Bound for Glory" is very interesting, a great long-spun yarn. Joe Klein says in passing that Woody "stretched the truth a lot" in the book, in the Woody storytelling way. But Klein doesnt' go any further. No guide as to where the truth ends and the stretches begin.


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Subject: RE: Woody Guthrie Traveling Exhibit Story
From: Frankham
Date: 03 Jun 00 - 07:15 PM

I knew Woody personally. Picked banjo and guitar with him in 1950's.

He was honest. When I knew him he was not interested in commercial music or the show business world. He was a socialist. He had great integrity. He was not a perfect human being. Who is?

Jim Longhi's book was how I remembered him and Cisco who I also knew in L.A.

Woody was the first American "singer/songwriter".

One of the best books on Woody is yet to come. By Ed Cray. Look for it.

JOe Klein probably got all the facts but not the feeling. Jim Longhi did that as did Bound For Glory.

Just like Dr. King, Woody is being lionized for his personality and not what he stood for.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Woody Guthrie Traveling Exhibit Story
From: canoer
Date: 04 Jun 00 - 02:26 AM

Frank,

It's a thrill to hear from someone who personally knew Woody!

Speaking of ignoring what Woody stood for in ideas and in politics, it was quite a a shock to me when I found out that there was a last verse of "This Land" that no one ever sang -- and it was a very strong verse, too. "On the other side it didn't say nothing -- that side was made for you and me."


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Subject: RE: Woody Guthrie Traveling Exhibit Story
From: katlaughing
Date: 04 Jun 00 - 02:18 PM

On a tape I have which Art Thieme sent me, of him with Jim Craig and Fred Holstein, from July 1984, a tribute to Woody Show for his birthday, I am pretty sure I've heard them do that verse. I'll check it for sure.

kat


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Subject: RE: Woody Guthrie Traveling Exhibit Story
From: Frankham
Date: 04 Jun 00 - 02:19 PM

I don't claim to know Woody intimately but I think he would take a dim view of his cannonization. He was interested in singing for picket lines, farm workers, labor rallies, and people he met in his travels. Don't think he would hang out with too many in the popular folkie set these days. He didn't care much for popular music of his day.

"I hate s song that makes a man feel low...."

Just from what I remember of him.

He was a guy who always told it like it is. Short, to the point and no BS. I was a kid then and he was very kind to me. He had a lot of compassion for people despite his erratic lifestyle which had a lot to do with the knowledge that he had of himself with Huntingtons. But he was all heart.

He was IMHO one of the best of all singer/songwriters everywhere and a great American folk "poet". I use the term loosely because he wrote lyrics which is different than straight poetry.

The important part of his writing which is the crux of every great art form is his economy, clarity and simplicity and specificity. No attempt to be profound, preachy or lapse into cliches or platitudes. And he played simply. He never tried to impress folks with his "musicality". And yet he assimilated the best of American rural country music and made it his own.

In this, he was in the best tradition of American folk music in my view.

Haven't seem the exhibit yet. Hope it does him justice.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Woody Guthrie Traveling Exhibit Story
From: canoer
Date: 05 Jun 00 - 10:06 AM

Dear kat,

I didn't really mean NObody, but hardly anyone, of the entertainers who popularized "This Land."

I'm sure it's because the verse attacks large private property holdings, which would be called un-American by those with influence.


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Subject: RE: Woody Guthrie Traveling Exhibit Story
From: canoer
Date: 05 Jun 00 - 10:17 AM

Frank, I'd agree that Woody would not enjoy the personal/sentimental bent of current folk. But where would Woody hang out today? Very little is happening in the way of labor struggles, few picket lines, and those generally cut-and-dried. Nor are there any significant campaigns for basic social reforms. Today, Woody would seem sort of like a man without an era. To my notion.


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Subject: RE: Woody Guthrie Traveling Exhibit Story
From: GUEST,Ron Olesko
Date: 05 Jun 00 - 10:43 AM

You have to remember that Woody was a TOPICAL songwriter. The Archives have thousands of songs that Woody wrote on all types of topics. The labor movement may have been the defining social cause of his day, but he would have been singing about many things today. IF Huntington's hadn't robbed him of his life, I am sure he would have been singing out loud during the civil rights movement, perhaps Vietnam, ecology, etc., etc., etc.

As Woody said - there will always be folk music because there are lots of folks. To paraphrase, he would have always found a topic to sing about.


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Subject: RE: Woody Guthrie Traveling Exhibit Story
From: GUEST,Ron Olesko
Date: 05 Jun 00 - 10:52 AM

P.S. - The exhibit does flesh out the depth of Woody's material. The exhibit does show the range of topics that Woody commented on.

Canoer's comments are probably reflect the way the general public recognizes Woody - labor songs and This Land. We could probably start a long debate on whether there are social causes worth fighting for these days. In my opinion basic social reform has made changes since Woody's day but we are all growing fat and lazy and missing the battles that still need to be fought. We need Woody Guthrie's to point out these issues instead of today's singer-songwhiners complaining of how they can't get laid (or whatever they are singing about).

If you have a chance, and you can find it, pick up the book "Woody Sez" and you will see first hand how this man's mind worked. Incredible.


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