Woody Guthrie

Woody Guthrie

Weathered, lean, and kindly, Woody Guthrie's face is the face of American folk music. Born in 1912, this astonishingly prolific composer is to the gritty, acoustic story-song what Louis Armstrong is to jazz and Elvis Presley is to rock & roll — the clearest, deepest source. In the Thirties and Forties he reinvented the American folk ballad as a vehicle for social comment and protest, laying the groundwork for Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Odetta, Bruce Springsteen, Joe Strummer, Tom Morello and numerous other folk and rock singer/songwriters.

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Photo by Michael Ochs Archive/Getty

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