An American Legend: Woody Guthrie
Woody Guthrie spent most of his life working for the rights of the working class. Born Woodrow Wilson Guthrie on July 14, 1912 in Okemah, Oklahoma, Woody moved to Texas at the age of 19. He made a decent living as a street musician and playing small bars and clubs. With the coming of the Dust Bowl era in the early 1930s Woody left his young family to follow the "Okies" to a better life in California. The poverty and injustice he saw would change his life.
In Los Angeles Woody found fame on the radio playing hillbilly and country music and had a large following in the migrant work camps. Displaced families from Texas and Oklahoma lived in tents or shanties and followed the harvest earning a meager existence picking crops. Woody worked as a union organizer and donated some of his earnings to farm worker relief causes. He started slipping some of his protest songs into his radio show which ruffled the feathers of the show's sponsors. Woody walked away from a promising radio career rather than drop his fight for justice or compromise his beliefs.