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 Lee.
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
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.
LYRICS FROM THIS TIME:
Got To Know
of the Reuben James