On “Democracy Now!” this week, hosts Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzales celebrated the centennial of the “Dust Bowl Troubadour,” Woody Guthrie, who was born on July 14, 1912. Guthrie was a transformative figure in American music, bringing American folk songs and the music of working class America into the mainstream, simultaneously elevating it and expanding upon it.
In addition to being a talented musician, Guthrie was a cultural and political iconoclast who supported the rights of poor people in this country and bucked the rabid anti-Communist paranoia of the McCarthy era. He supported labor unions and civil rights and famously sported a decal on his guitar that read “This machine kills fascists.”
Goodman and Gonzales welcomed Guthrie’s daughter and granddaughter, Nora Guthrie and Anna Canoni, as well as firebrand musician and activist Steve Earle, who discussed Guthrie’s legacy and the indelible stamp he left on music and the world.
Watch the video, embedded via “Democracy Now!” below: