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Woody Guthrie’s 100th birthday celebrated in Okla.
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“The controversy about him in Oklahoma I have always thought of, as mentioned elsewhere, no one is a prophet in his own country, and they’ve found a way to make him profitable,” said Guthrie, who called the festival a family reunion of sorts.
“I get to see all my aunties and cousins, so that’s an annual pilgrimage if we can make it,” Guthrie said.
Many musical tributes have come out this year in honor of Woody Guthrie’s July 14, 1912, birth date. Among them will be the release of the Guthrie-penned 1947 song, “My New York City,” as recorded by folk music duo Mike + Ruthy, aka Mike Merenda and his wife, Ruthy Ungar.
Merenda and Ungar are longtime friends of Sarah Lee Guthrie’s and their old band toured with Arlo Guthrie. The Guthrie family provided the unrecorded song to the duo, and were told, “Do something beautiful with this,” Merenda said.
“It has not been recorded. We got to make the premier recording,” Merenda said. “It’s been getting an overwhelming response in our live concerts.”
Arlo Guthrie said he believes his father would approach what he called the “venom” of today’s political climate with an attitude of compromise.
“Let’s all get together” and discuss our differences, Guthrie said.
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