Woody Guthrie: a Liverpool celebration

10 thoughts on “Woody Guthrie: a Liverpool celebration”

  1. What a fabulous post. I found it via Google while researching for my own post on Big Bill Broonzy’s birthday, which is June 26. Great writing. I’ll be exploring your other posts soon.

    1. Thanks for your appreciation, ef. I’ve nipped over to yours and I think I’m going to enjoy trawling through your ‘Historic Day in Music’ posts a very great deal. Just for starters, can I recommend your post on Paul McCartney’s 70th (http://bit.ly/LxTavF): much better than many of the others I’ve read.

  2. Hi Gerry. I just stumbled across your excellent article via the Expecting Rain site and was just wondering did you ever manage to catch Will Kaufman’s Woody Guthrie lectures/performances? I know Ian Ralston used to organise them on an annual basis while he was still lecturing at JMU. They are very good and would definitely be of interest to anybody with an interest in Woody’s music.Oh, by the way, you probably do not remember me but I was a student in your 2006/7 European Studies class at Bankfield Community College.
    Even though I only had a nascent understanding of the concept of socialism at the time it was a vibe I most definitely picked up on during my time there, and something that probably helped to sustain me during the initially terrifying reintroduction to further education. Anyway i would just like to say thanks, that whole year was literally life changing for me.
    Back to Woody, I really must try and catch one of the nights at The Ship and Mitre but I Iive, and teach, in Manchester now. Anyway great article, and nice quote from Mr. Cohen in your parentheses. Glad to see you are keeping well.

    1. I do remember you, Anthony, and it’s good to hear from you and know that you are making your way in these difficult times. I’m retired now – hence the blog. Yes, I did attend Will Kaufman’s Woody Guthrie lectures a couple of times, via Ian’s recommendation. Kaufman has just had a book about Woody published – it was mentioned in an article by Ed Vulliamy in The Guardian the other day:

      “A new book Woody Guthrie, American Radical, by American literature professor Will Kaufman, seeks cogently to reclaim Guthrie from his appearance on US postage stamps and the national heritage, asserting his part in “the communist movement, if not the Communist party”. Kaufman likes the idea of rightwingers “licking Woody’s ass” on stamps, but his book went to press before This Land Is Your Land was turned into a “Google doodle” by the cyber-behemoth on last week’s Independence Day. Guthrie, Kaufman reminds us, was an admirer of Stalin, though his membership of the US Communist party is debated”.(http://bit.ly/NjqGX4).

      He has a website, too: http://www.willkaufman.com/

      Thanks, Anthony, for your kind and generous comments. Maybe I’ll bump into you at the Ship & Mitre or a Kaufman gig one night!

  3. Yes, after completing my degree I undertook a teaching qualification and I have been fortunate enough to be employed ever since. I teach disengaged teenagers at the moment but hopefully I will work with adults again at some point.
    Thanks for the links, the Kaufman book sounds interesting and I will definitely check it out ; Yes, I must make the effort to attend one of the Ships…nights soon!

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