From California to the New York Island and beyond music lovers are noting the 100th anniversary of the birth of American singer and songwriter Woody Guthrie. From his beginnings in Oklahoma until his death from the incurable degenerative neurological disorder Huntington’s Disease in 1967 Guthrie was noted for not only his prolific songwriting but also his support of laborers and farm workers in particular. Like his contemporary John Steinbeck, Guthrie bore witness to the Dustbowl migration of Oklahoma farmers (Okies) to the fertile fields of California and to the prejudice the Okies suffered.
This clip from the JTCC database Films on Demand, titled “Life in the Lettuce Fields,” is part of the program In Context: Of Mice and Men.
To learn more about the life of Woody Guthrie visit Woody100. The site includes a biography and calendar of events marking the centennial celebration containing scholarly conferences, concerts, festivals and tributes.