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Woody Guthrie Centennial celebrates life and music of the folk legend

By Hayley Fox
Published: Thursday, March 22, 2012, at 10:30AM
Al Aumuller - Courtesy of Woody Guthrie Archives

A picture of Woody Guthrie from 1943.

The Woody Guthrie Centennial celebrates the life and music of the iconic folk singer, who was probably best known for his simple, vocal-heavy songs -- most notably, "This land is your land."

Guthrie was born in 1912 and died in 1967, and next month, the Grammy Museum and the Guthrie archives are hosting a series of events to celebrate his widespread cultural impact on the 100th anniversary of his birthday.

From April 9th to the 14th, the Centennial will include an educational conference at USC titled, "This Great And Crowded City: Woody Guthrie’s Los Angeles," a plaque dedication and a finale tribute performance by a variety of musical heavyweights.

The conference will include scholars, musicians, and writers discussing "Guthrie’s itinerant wanderings through California and the far West, the Dust Bowl culture he drew upon in his songs of commentary and protest, and the backdrop of Los Angeles as it emerged from the Depression at the dawn of the Second World War."

“This celebration of Woody Guthrie's life, work, and legacy is going to be as fun as it is educational, and we're thrilled to be able to play a role," said William Deverell, a professor of history at USC.

The finale of the nearly week-long events will be a Guthrie tribute show at Club Nokia. Musicians performing at the event include Jackson Browne, David Crosby and Graham Nash (of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young), Kris Kristofferson and a surprising wildcard -- Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello.

The centennial party began in January at Lincoln Center in New York, and traveled to Oklahoma and Texas before coming to L.A. next month.

Concert ticket prices range from from $40 - $95 and are available at the Staples Center Box Office or on Ticketmaster

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