Woody Guthrie plays New York City’s Washington Square Park (1954 Photos)

1954: Arthur Dubinsky captures Woody Guthrie (July 14, 1912 – October 3, 1967) in New York City’s Washington Square Park. Guthrie is accompanied by fellow American folk singer and performer Ramblin’ Jack Elliot (born Elliot Charles Adnopoz in 1931). You can hear the two playing on the 1955 album Woody Guthrie’s Blues.

The words on Guthrie’s guitar vow: “This Machine Kills Fascists.”



Below you can watch Guthrie in the 1988 BBC Arena documentary, Woody Guthrie. It features words from Alan Lomax, Jack Elliot, Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie and others. BBC Arena editor Anthony Wall notese):

“This land is your land”, sang Woody Guthrie, his mission to reclaim the true America from the lawyers and politicians and thugs and return it to the people. He said he was just trying ‘to tell people what they already know’. Originally from a comfortably-off family in Oklahoma, he took to the road and rails to chronicle in song the depression and dustbowl. A fabulous example of American self-invention, ‘Guthrie came with the dust and he went with the wind’


Spotter: Babylon Falling, Open Culture