WOODY GUTHRIE’S LEGACY
LIVES HERE

PHOTO CREDIT: PHIL CLARKIN

ON EXHIBIT NOW

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SONGS OF CONSCIENCE,
SOUNDS OF FREEDOM

Curated by the GRAMMY Museum® in Los Angeles, the exhibit examines the role music has played in informing and inspiring social consciousness throughout American history. Charting a path from spirituals that were sung by enslaved people in America and the labor movement struggles that Woody Guthrie wrote about in songs like “1913 Massacre,” to the mass movement of music and art that helped to stir action during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, to the continued fight for racial justice in America today, the exhibit spans time and genre to tell the stories of music’s role as a source of inspiration and an educator.

Songs of Conscience, Sounds of Freedom Exhibit
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Songs of Conscience, Sounds of Freedom

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UPCOMING EVENTS

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ABOUT WOODY GUTHRIE

Woody Guthrie (1912-1967) was one of America’s greatest folksingers and most influential songwriters. His songs celebrate the beauty and bounty of America  and seek the truth about our country and its people. He turned complex ideas about democracy, human rights, and economic equality into simple songs that all Americans could embrace. Woody Guthrie spoke for those who carried a heavy burden or had come upon hard times — giving voice to their struggles and giving them hope and strength.

Woody Guthrie Historical Photo
Woody Guthrie Historical Photo
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THE BEST WAY TO GET TO KNOW ANY BUNCH OF PEOPLE IS TO

GO AND LISTEN TO THEIR MUSIC.

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SPREAD WOODY’S MESSAGE

FOLK THE VOTE
KIDS TEE

THIS MACHINE
FACE MASK

FASCISTS BOUND TO LOSE
ADULT TEE

FIRE IN LITTLE AFRICA
STICKER

TALKING WOODY GUTHRIE

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“The world is no doubt in a constant state of changing and rearranging. However, regardless of the current news, Woody seems to have already been there, lived through similar circumstances, and wrote home to tell about it. He’s always in the moment. There’s guidance and comfort in his words. And no matter how dire the situation, Woody leaves one to think that somehow everything will be all right. That's why he’s Woody.”

- Marty Stuart
“Woody Guthrie, to me, epitomizes the spirit, soul, and heart of any guy who’s ever picked up a guitar, meant business, and didn’t mind a reasonable amount of trouble. Woody’s name is written in the stars.”

- John Mellencamp
“I suppose I would have been the artist, writer, activist, traveler, singer, hand-extender that I am whether Woody Guthrie had existed or not, but it sure was helpful to me that he came before and helped to define such a stance. I inhabit the same basic position in society that he did, and for the work Woody did to articulate and legitimize that path, I am very grateful.”

- Ani Difranco
“A great majority of what he wrote was slight or sort of off-color or imperfect in some way, and that is what is sort of beautiful about it as a whole.”

- Jeff Tweedy
“Woody is just Woody. Thousands of people don’t know he has any other name. He is just a voice and a guitar. He sings the songs of a people and I suspect that he is, in a way, that people. Harsh voiced and nasal, his guitar hanging like a tire iron on a rusty rim, there is nothing sweet about Woody, and there is nothing sweet about the songs he sings. But there is something more important for those who still listen. There is the will of a people to endure and fight oppression. I think we call this the American spirit.”

- John Steinbeck
“Woody Guthrie was the original punk rocker, an unapologetic free spirit, a proud anti-fascist, and he lived those ideals in every breath he breathed and in every song he sang.”

- Tom Morello
“Woody Guthrie's place in American culture is midway between Walt Whitman and Bob Dylan. The last of the roving troubadours we still listen to today, he's also the first alternative songwriter, and although he exists outside of pop music’s shining citadel, the treasure trove of material he left behind means he still has things to tell us.”

- Billy Bragg
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AMERICAN SONG ARCHIVES

Dedicated to preserving the legacy of America’s most enduring and inspiring songwriters, the archives house the largest collection of Woody Guthrie primary resource materials in the world.