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Woody Guthrie'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?

    Song & Life Timeline

    Bibliography

    Discography

    Filmography

    Woody Sez Quotes

 

Life & Song Time-line

 

Woody's Song Timeline
Year
Woody's Life Timeline

 

1878

 

Woody's father, Charley Guthrie, is born.

 

 
1888

Woody's mother, Nora Belle Sherman, is born.

 

 
1902

Charley Guthrie meets Nora Belle Sherman.

 

 
1904

Charley Guthrie marries Nora Belle Sherman.

 

 
1904

Nov. 24- Charley and Nora’s first child, Clara Edna Guthrie, is born.

 

 
1906

Dec. 17- Charley and Nora’s second child, Roy Guthrie, is born.

 

 
1907

The Guthrie family moves to Okemah, Oklahoma.

 

 
1912

Woodrow Wilson nominated by the Democratic Party for President.

July 14- Charley and Nora’s third child, Woodrow Wilson Guthrie, is born.

 

 
1913

Woodrow Wilson elected president of the US.

 

 
1914

The Guthrie family moves into the “Old London House” on South First Street, in Okemah.

 

 
1918

Feb.- Charley and Nora’s fourth child, George Guthrie, is born.

 

 
1919

May- Woody's older sister, Clara Edna Guthrie, dies in a fire.

 

 
1922

Oil discovered in Cromwell, 12 miles southwest of Okemah.

Charley and Nora’s fifth child, Mary Josephine Guthrie, is born.

 

 
1923

Okemah’s population jumps to 15,000 because of the Cromwell oil.

 

 
1926

Charley sends two of his children, George and Mary Jo, to stay with his sister Maude in Pampa, Texas.

 

 
1927

Charley severely burned in fire. Nora Belle Guthrie hospitalized. Charley moves to Pampa, Texas to recuperate. Woody stays with Roy in Okemah, Oklahoma.

 

 
1927-1929

Woody lives with various families in Okemah.

 

 
1929

Woody moves to Pampa, Texas.

Nora Belle Guthrie dies at hospital in Norman, Oklahoma.

 

 
1930

Woody forms his first band, The Corncob Trio, with friends Matt Jennings and Cluster Baker.

 

 
1932

Height of the Great Depression.

 

 
1933

Woody marries Mary Jennings.

 

Don't You Marry
1935

Apr. 14- Black Easter Dust Storms.

Woody & Mary’s first child, Gwendolyn Gail Guthrie, is born.

 

Do Re Mi
Dust Bowl Blues
Dust Can’t Kill Me
Dust Pneumony
Hard Ain’t It Hard
Oklahoma Hills
Philadelphia Lawyer
1937

Woody leaves Pampa, Texas and heads to California, the “Garden of Eden”.

July- Woody & Mary’s second child, Carolyn Sue Guthrie, is born.

Sept.- Woody & singing partner Maxine “Lefty Lou” Crissman perform for the first time on KFVD Radio.

Dec.- Woody, Mary & their kids move to Glendale, California.

 

Ain't Got No Home In This World Anymore
Christ For President
Dust Bowl Refugee
Gypsy Davy (circa)
Gypsy's Fortune
Sally Don't You Grieve

1938

Jan. 22- Woody, Mary, Jeff & Allene Guthrie (Woody’s cousin), and others travel to Tia Juana, Mexico to work on XELO Radio. It doesn’t work out and they move back to California three weeks later.

June 18- Woody & Maxine “Lefty Lou” Crissman end the Woody & Lefty Show on KFVD.

 

Airline To Heaven
At My Window Sad And Lonely
Blowin’ Down This Road
California Stars (circa)
Grand Coulee Dam
He And She
Listening To That Wind That Blows
Mr. Tom Mooney Is Free
Old cracked Looking Glass (circa)
One By One (circa)
Orange Blossom Ring
Pretty Boy Floyd
Secrets Of The Sea
This Morning I Am Born Again
Wheel Of Life
Will Rogers Highway

 

1939

Mar.- “The Grapes of Wrath” published. It sells 420,565 copies in the first year and wins both the Pulitzer and National Book Award.

May 12- The first “Woody Sez” column appears in “People’s World”.

July- Ed Robbins introduces Woody to Will Geer.

Sept. and Oct.- Woody travels with Will Geer and others to support migrant workers organizing.

Oct. 7- Woody & Mary’s third child, William Rogers Guthrie, is born.

Dirty Overhalls
Great Dust Storm
Hard Travelin'
Hey Hey Hey Hey
I Don't Feel At Home On The Bowery No More
It Takes A Married Man To Sing A Worried Song
Jesus Christ
New York Town (circa)
Nine Hundred Miles (circa)
Slipknot
So Long It's Been Good To Know You
This Land Is Your Land
Tom Joad
Union Maid
Unwelcomed Guest, The
Vigilante Man
Why Do You Stand There In The Rain?

1940

Woody & Mary appear as extras in Pare Lorenz' Fight For Life documentary film.

Feb.- Woody moves to New York City , New York and stays with the Geers.

Feb. 23- Woody writes "This Land Is Your Land" while living at the Hanover House, in New York City.

Feb. 18- Will Geer introduces Woody to Alan Lomax at a benefit concert for Spanish Loyalist refugees.

Mar. 3- Pete Seeger, while performing at a "Grapes of Wrath" benefit concert hears Woody perform for the first time.

Mar. 21, 22, 24- Woody records for Alan Lomax and the Library of Congress in Washington, DC .

May- Woody records "Dust Bowl Ballads" for RCA Victor.

Aug.- Woody appears on CBS Radio "Forecast" series in a pilot for a series "Back Where I Come From."

Nov.- Appears on "Cavalcade of America "

Nov.- Woody is hired by the Columbia Broadcasting System.

 

Ashes to Ashes Dust to Dust (circa)
Bed On The Floor
Better Go Down And Join
The Union (circa)
Biggest Thing That Man Has Ever Done (Great Historical Bum)
Blue Eyes
Columbia's Waters
Curfew Blow (circa)
Curley Headed Baby (circa)
End Of My Line
Jack Hammer Blues
Jesse James And His Boys (circa)
Ladies Auxiliary
Little Black Train (circa)
Lumber Is King
Mister Charley Lindbergh (circa)
More Pretty Gals Than One (circa)
New Found Land
Oregon Line
Out Past The End Of The Line
Pastures Of Plenty
Portland Town To Klamath
Ramblin' Reckless Hobo (circa)
Ramblin' 'Round (circa)
Roll On Columbia
Ship In The Sky
Song Of The Grand Coulee Dam
Talking Columbia/Columbia Talking Blues
Union Buryin' Ground
Washington Talkin' Blues (circa)
White Ghost Train

 

1941

Jan.- Leaves New York City with Mary and their three children and head across the country.

Feb.- Woody gets a short term job back on KFVD in Los Angeles, California. Woody also begins his work on a manuscript of what will become "Bound For Glory".

Mar.- Woody performs at International Woman's Day Committee Tea.

Apr. 3- Woody performs at an Okie benefit in Los Angeles, California .

Apr. 4- Woody performs at Barn Dance, a benefit for Cannery and Agricultural Workers Union.

May 13- Woody begins his month-long Columbia River project where he earns $266.66.

July 7- Woody records with the Almanac Singers, "Deep Sea Chanties" and "Sod Buster Ballads".

July- Upon returning to New York City, Woody joins up with the Almanac Singers on a trip West. Together they perform in Detroit, Chicago, Milwaukee, Denver, and San Francisco .

Aug.- Woody appears at Asheville, North Carolina for a Folk Festival.

Dec. 7- Attack on Pearl Harbor.

Dec. 8- US enters World War II.

All You Fascists Bound To Lose
Be No Church Tonight
Better World A Coming
Dirty Overalls
East Texas Red
Gonna Be A Blackout Tonight
Great And Bloody Fight
Hard Travelin'
Sinking Of The Reuben James
Sixty-Six Highway Blues
So Long It's Been Good To Know You

 

1942

Jan.- Woody records home discs with Almanacs in New York City .

Jan.- Woody meets Marjorie Mazia at the Almanac House, while rehearsing for "Folksay" choreographed by Sophie Maslow.

July- RCA rejects Woody's proposal to record his war songs.

Dead Or Alive
Dig a Hole (circa)
Jackhammer John
Jesus Christ
Talkin Subway Blues
Talkin' Sailor (Aka Talkin' Merchant Marine)
Talking Fishing Blues (circa)
Union Feelin (circa)
When The Yanks Go Marching In
You Better Get Ready (circa)

 

1943

Feb.- Woody and Marjorie Guthrie's first child, Cathy Ann Guthrie, is born.

Mar.- "Bound For Glory" published.

June 5- Woody ships out with the Merchant Marines with buddies Cisco Houston and Vincent "Jimmy" Longhi.

Woody, Marjorie & Cathy move to 3520 Mermaid Avenue, Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York.

1913 Massacre (circa)
All You Fascists
Been Out On An Ocean Trip
Biggest Thing
Born To Win
Build Me A World
Harriet Tubman
I Gotta Go Down
Ninety Mile Wind
Ranger's Command (circa)
Remember The Mountain Bed

 

1944

Apr. 16, 19, 20, 24, 25- Woody records for Moe Asch. Apr. 19 recording session is with Cisco Houston, where they record 57 songs.

Oct.- Woody performs in Chicago with the FDR Bandwagon.

Woody records his album "Struggle" for Asch Records.

Belle Starr (circa)
Birds and Ships (circa)
Black Wind Blowing (circa)
Buffalo Skinners
Dying Miner
Gonna Get Through This World
I Like To Stay Home With Daddy
I'm Shipping Up To Boston (circa)
It's A Wrinkled, Crumpled, Rumpled Look (circa)
Ludlow Massacre
Meanest Man
Miner's Kids And Wives
Roll On Little Ocean
Talking Meaness
Union Train

 

1945

Mar.- Woody records for Moe Asch.

Mar. 10- Woody attends an all-day conference on Folklore in a Democracy with Ben Botkin, Herbert Haufrecht, Richard Dyer-Bennet, Charles Seeger, and Sonny Terry at Elizabeth Irwin High School .

May 8- Woody is inducted into the Army.

Dec. 21- Woody is discharged from the Army.

All Work Together
Blinding Of Isaac Woodward
Bugeye Jim
Build My House
Cadillac Eight
Don't You Push Me Down (circa)
Hoodoo Voodoo
How Joo Do?
Jigalong Home
Just One More Time
Little Curly Head
Little Sacka Sugar
Mail Myself To You
Me Yellow Crayon
My Little Seed
My Rolling Ocean
Needle Song
Pick It Up
Race You Down The Mountain
Revolutionary Mind
Sleep Eye
Sleepy Eyes
Swimmy Swim Swim
Walt Whitmans Neice
Way Over Yonder In The Minor Key

 

1946

Songs To Grow On is released.

Against Th' Law
Bigger
Blubber My Gum
Dance Around My Atom Fire
Goodnight Little Arlo
Heaven
Little Bird
My New York City
Talking Miner
Ticky Tock
Woman At Home (circa)

 

1947

Feb.- Cathy Guthrie dies in an electrical fire.

July 10- Woody and Marjorie's second child, Arlo Guthrie, is born.

Come See
Dear Mrs. Roosevelt
Farmer-Labor Train
Feed Of Man (circa)
Grassy Grow
Ilsa Koch
I've Got To Know
Los Gatos Plane Wreck
Make A Blubble
My Dolly
Put Your Finger In The Air
Riding In My Car
Someday Some Morning Sometime
Tea Bag Blues
Tip Tap Toe

 

1948

June to Nov.- Woody and Cisco sing for the Wallace campaign.

Dec. 25- Woody and Marjorie's third child, Joady Guthrie, is born.

Baltimore To Washington
Come When I Call You
Eisler On The Go
Fastest Of Ponies
Hannuka's Flame
Hanuka Bell
Hanuka Dance
Hanuka Gelt
Hanuka Time
Hanuka Tree
Headdy Down
Hezitatin' Beauty
Hour Cometh, The
Joe Dimaggio Done It Again
Many & The Few, The
Mother Sing Again
Veedee Blues
Warden Of The Skies

 

1949

Dance A Little Longer
Every 100 Years (circa)
God And Joseph
I Was Born
Ingrid Bergman
Mermaid's Avenue
My Flying Saucer
Sometimes (aka Another Man's Done Gone)

 

1950

Jan. 2- Woody and Marjorie's fourth child, Nora Guthrie, is born.

Feb.- Woody enrolls in classes at Brooklyn College. He takes courses in Philosophy, English, Spanish, and classical civilization.

The Weavers (Ronnie Gilbert, Lee Hays, Fred Hellerman, & Pete Seeger) record Woody's "So Long It's Been Good To Know Yuh".

Been Down The River Too Long
Heaven My Home

 

1951

Circle Of Truth
Down In Oklayhoma (circa)
Down This River Too Long
Love Thyself
My Peace

 

1952

Woody moves to Topanga Canyon, California and meets Anneke Van Kirk.

Condorbird
Jinga Linnng

 

1953

Woody marries Anneke Van Kirk.

Woody and Anneke have a daughter named Lorina Lynn.

 

Your Sandal String

 

1954
Woody checks himself into Brooklyn State Hospital.

Bizzness Ain't Dead
Blood Of My Lamb
God's Promise
Pass Away
Take It Easy

 

1955
Woody and Anneke's marriage is disolved.
 
1956

Woody's father, Charley Guthrie, dies.

Woody is officially diagnosed with Huntington's Disease.

Mar. 17- Benefit concert at Pythian Hall to raise money for Woody's children, this concert helps spark the folk revival.

May- Woody voluntarily checks out of Brooklyn State Hospital.

Woody hospitalized at Greystone Hospital, New Jersey.

 

 
1959

Bob and Sidsel Gleason have Woody visit their home on Sunday's for a hootenanny with friends.

 

 
1961

Bob Dylan visits Woody's home in Queens, NY and is brought to visit Woody in the hospital.

Woody is transfered to Creedmore State Hospital.

 

 
1965

Born To Win is published.

 

 
1966

Woody receives the Conservation Service Award from the Department of the Interior.

 

 
1967

Oct. 3- Woody Guthrie dies at Creedmore State Hospital, Queens, NY.

 

 

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