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Arts & Culture

American Masters: Woody Guthrie: Ain't Got No Home

Woody Guthrie. Though Guthrie lived to just 55, his music, prose and poetry continue to inspire and invigorate legions of new fans, songwriters and performers.
Courtesy of Reference Center for Marxist Studies
Woody Guthrie. Though Guthrie lived to just 55, his music, prose and poetry continue to inspire and invigorate legions of new fans, songwriters and performers.

Airs Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 8 p.m. on KPBS TV

Essentially every American who has listened to the radio or gone to summer camp knows Woody Guthrie's “This Land Is Your Land.” The music of the nation's signature folk singer/songwriter has been recorded by everyone from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir to the Irish rock band U2.

Woody Guthrie with guitar that reads "This Machine Kills Fascists." Guthrie's prolific music, poetry and prose were politically leftist, uniquely patriotic and always inspirational.
Courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, NYWY&S Collection
Woody Guthrie with guitar that reads "This Machine Kills Fascists." Guthrie's prolific music, poetry and prose were politically leftist, uniquely patriotic and always inspirational.

Timeline

Explore the career of Woody Guthrie.

Originally blowing out of the Dust Bowl in 1930s Depression-era America, he blended vernacular, rural music and populism to give voice to millions of downtrodden citizens. Guthrie's prolific music, poetry and prose were politically leftist, uniquely patriotic and always inspirational.

He joined music with traditional oral history and was central to the folk music revival. His is a complex story filled with frenetic creative energy and a treasure trove of cultural history — as well as personal imperfections and profound family tragedy.

This national encore is in honor of the centennial of Guthrie’s birth, and in conjunction with the premiere of Ken Burns’s new two-part documentary "The Dust Bowl," airing Sunday, November 18, 2012 at 8 p.m. (repeats at 10 p.m.), and Monday, November 19th at 8 p.m. (repeats at 10 p.m.).

This program originally aired in 2009.

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Preview: American Masters: Woody Guthrie: Ain't Got No Home