Woody Guthrie: A Life

Examines this biography of American folk singer, Woody Guthrie, written by Joe Klein.

This paper introduces the book, “Woody Guthrie: A Life,” by Joe Klein. Specifically, it discusses how Woody Guthrie’s life and music reflect the turmoil of America from the Depression era through the Cold War. Woody Guthrie’s music spoke to the people of America. He experienced the Dust Bowl in Oklahoma first-hand and wrote about it in his songs. He wore his political heart on his sleeve and set the stage for hundreds of folk artists to follow. The paper shows how Woody Guthrie was a folk singer who knew his audience first-hand, and, therefore, his music reflected the problems of the people who listened to him sing.
“While Woody stopped singing, his influence on music did not end. Members of the Almanac Singers went on to form the 50s folk group The Weavers, one of the most famous folk and political music groups of the 50s and 60s. Their method of protest through song caught on with an entire generation of young people who were appalled at the war in Vietnam and the way the “establishment” was treating the planet. Woody and his music told a story about troubled times, and the people he influenced continued the tradition of noting history through song.”