DEAD: ON THIS DATE
Woody Guthrie (aged 55)
Musician (This Land is Your Land)
Woodrow Wilson Guthrie (July 14, 1912 – October 3, 1967) was an American singer-songwriter, one of the most significant figures in American folk music; his music, including social justice songs, such as “This Land Is Your Land”, has inspired several generations both politically and musically. He wrote hundreds of political, folk, and children’s songs, along with ballads and improvised works. His album of songs about the Dust Bowl period, Dust Bowl Ballads, is included on Mojo magazine’s list of 100 Records That Changed The World. Many of his recorded songs are archived in the Library of Congress. Songwriters such as Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Johnny Cash, Bruce Springsteen, Robert Hunter, Harry Chapin, John Mellencamp, Pete Seeger, Andy Irvine, Joe Strummer, Billy Bragg, Jerry Garcia, Jay Farrar, Bob Weir, Jeff Tweedy, Bob Childers, Sammy Walker, Tom Paxton, Andrew Jackson Jihad, Brian Fallon, and Sixto Rodríguez have acknowledged Guthrie as a major influence. He frequently performed with the slogan “This machine kills fascists” displayed on his guitar.
DEATH: Guthrie died of complications of Huntington’s disease on October 3, 1967. By the time of his death, his work had been discovered by a new audience, introduced to them through Dylan, Pete Seeger, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, his ex-wife Marjorie and other new members of the folk revival, and his son Arlo.