News Column

Woody Guthrie's Archives Purchased, To Be Conserved In His Hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma

Dec 28, 2011


Woody Guthrie

Folk singer Woody Guthrie's manuscripts, notebooks and sketches have been purchased for $3 million to be preserved in a study center in his name.

He was born Woodrow Wilson Guthrie on July 14, 1912, in Okemah, Okla.

His archives were purchased by the George Kaiser Family Foundation, who plans to build the center in Guthrie's hometown city of Tulsa, Okla., according to Rolling

Guthrie's work includes dozens of notebooks, sketchbooks and manuscripts, more than 500 artworks and more than 3,000 scraps of paper on which the legendary singer wrote song lyrics.

Before the purchase, the archive had been with Guthrie's daughter, Nora, in Mount Kisko, N.Y., according to the Washington Post.

The singer, best known for writing "This Land Is Your Land" and the autobiography Bound for Glory, left a legacy sometimes tarnished by those who view him mainly as a Communist sympathizer. Guthrie, who died in 1967 of Huntington's disease, was not enshrined in the Oklahoma Hall of Fame until 2006, according to the Post.

Many popular songwriters have acknowledged Guthrie as an influence, such as Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Pete Seeger and Tom Paxton.

Guthrie's website features this quoate from the singer describing folk music:
"A folk song is what's wrong and how to fix it or it could be
who's hungry and where their mouth is or
who's out of work and where the job is or
who's broke and where the money is or
who's carrying a gun and where the peace is."

Source: (c) 2011. All Rights Reserved.

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