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WOODY'S BIOGRAPHY


1912 - Childhood

1931 - The Great Dust Bowl

1937 - KFVD Radio Years

1940 - New York Town

1941 - Columbia River

1942 - World War II

1946 - Coney Island

1954 - The Hospital Years

I Ain't Dead Yet

Where's Woody Now?

New Songs from the Woody Guthrie Archive


Bibliography

Discography

Filmography

Song Timeline

Life & Song Timeline

Woody Sez


 

Woody Guthrie's Biography

Page 6 of 10

WOODY SEZ...

“This machine kills fascists.”

SUGGESTED LYRICS:

Dear Mrs. Roosevelt

I've Got To Know

Sinking of the Reuben James

Woody playing for African American GI's during the war, 1943. Photo by Eric Schaal/TIMEPIX

 

WORLD WAR II (1942–1945)
New York City, New York

Back in New York, Woody met and vigorously courted a young dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company named Marjorie (Greenblatt) Mazia. Sharing humanist ideals and activist politics, Woody and Marjorie were married in 1945 and over the years had four children: Cathy, (who died at age four in a tragic home fire), Arlo, Joady, and Nora.

This relationship provided Woody a level of domestic stability and encouragement which he had previously not known, enabling him to turn out a staggering number of original songs, writings, drawings, paintings, poems and prose pieces. His first novel, Bound for Glory, a semi-autobiographical account of his Dust Bowl years was published in 1943 to critical acclaim.

During World War II, moved by his passion against Fascism, Woody served in both the Merchant Marine and the Army. Shipping out to sea on several occasions with his buddies Cisco Houston and Jimmy Longhi, Woody's tendency to write songs, tell stories and make drawings continued unabated. He composed hundreds of anti-Hitler, pro-war, and historic ballads to rally the troops, such as “All You Fascists Bound To Lose”, “Talking Merchant Marine,” and “The Sinking of the Reuben James.” He began to work on a second novel, Sea Porpoise, and was enlisted by the army to write songs about the dangers of venereal diseases, which were published in brochures distributed to sailors. His capacity for creative self-expression seemed inexhaustible, whether on land or sea.

 

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