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Celebrating Woody's work

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: February 20, 2014

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FANS of Woody Guthrie can celebrate his songs with local performer Sean Nicholson and friends. Enjoy songs from the Dust Bowl in Oklahoma to the Peach Bowl in California, connected to readings from John Steinbeck's The Grapes Of Wrath and from Woody's own life story, Bound For Glory.

Woody Guthrie was born on July 14th 1912 in Oklahoma. In 1935 a catastrophic drought swept across the Great Plains of which Oklahoma is a part. Wind picked up the soil and gusted it across the plain in huge black clouds. Out of this horrendous disaster came Woody's Dust Bowl ballads.

The Great Depression hit the rest of the United States. Farmers who couldn't pay their bills lost their land.

People packed their bags and moved to the golden state, California, where they were banking on finding jobs as fruit pickers.

In 1936, 24-year-old Woody joined them and told stories about their lives in his Fruit Bowl ballads, which have inspired Bob Dylan and many other musicians.

Sean Nicholson and friends perform at St Anne's Arts Centre, Barnstaple on Friday, February 21, 8pm. Tickets: £5. Box office: 01805 624624.

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