Timeline of Woody Guthrie
Woody Guthrie (1912-1967)
Born in Okemah, Oklahoma.
Death of older sister, Clara, in fire.
Mother sent to Central State Hospital for the Insane in Norman, Oklahoma.
Joined father and extended family in Pampa, Texas; focused on learning to play guitar and harmonica.
Death of mother.
Married Mary Jennings, Pampa, Texas (later divorced).
Prepared typed songbook of original songs, "Alonzo M. Zilch's Own Collection of Original Songs and Ballads."
Began to compose songs about the Dust Bowl following the Great Dust Storm.
Moved to Los Angeles, California; began performing on radio station KFVD.
Traveled to investigate the living and working conditions of the migrant workers on assignment for The Light newspaper; wrote "Dust Bowl Refugees."
Began writing "Woody Sez" column in People's World.
Met actor Will Geer and began traveling with him to migrant camps to perform.
Moved to New York City; wrote "This Land Is Your Land" in reaction to Irving Berlin's "God Bless America."
Performed at "Grapes of Wrath Evening," organized by Will Geer to benefit the John Steinbeck Committee for Agricultural Workers; met Alan and Elizabeth Lomax, director Nicholas Ray, and folk singers Aunt Molly Jackson, Leadbelly, and Pete Seeger.
Recorded four hours of songs and stories for the Library of Congress's Archive of American Folk Song in the Department of the Interior recording lab.
Began to write autobiographical novel, Bound for Glory.
Began to appear on CBS radio programs.
Recorded Dust Bowl Ballads for Victor Records in Camden, New Jersey (released in July).
Commissioned by the U.S. Department of the Interior to write songs promoting the building of the Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River in Washington state; composed twenty-six songs in thirty days.
Joined the Almanac Singers in New York for cross-country summer tour; recorded Deep Sea Chanteys and Whaling Ballads and Sod-buster Ballads with the Almanacs for General Records.
Moved to Greenwich Village, living and performing with the Almanac Singers.
In the wake of Pearl Harbor, began writing pro-war songs with the Almanac Singers.
Narrated and played music for Folksay modern dance, choreographed by Sophie Maslow and featuring Marjorie Mazia as a dancer.
Signed contract with E. P. Dutton publishing house for book.
Began dating Marjorie Mazia.
Bound for Glory published (New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., Inc.).
Joined the Merchant Marine; shipped out on first of three voyages with Cisco Houston and Jimmy Longhi.
Returned to New York; moved to 3520 Mermaid Avenue, Coney Island.
Met Moses (Moe) Asch and began to record in his studio in New York: the first recording of "This Land Is Your Land" and well over one hundred other songs.
Released album of recordings made for Moe Asch through collaboration with Herbert Harris's Stinson Trading Company.
Inducted into the Army.
Married Marjorie in New York while on furlough (divorced July 1953).
Discharged from the Army.
Began writing children's songs and recording them for Moe Asch's label.
Named to the board of directors of the newly formed People's Songs collective.
Death of his and Marjorie's daughter Cathy Ann in fire.
The Weavers (Ronnie Gilbert, Lee Hays, Fred Hellerman, and Pete Seeger) recorded Guthrie's "So Long, It's Been Good to Know You."
Music publisher Howie Richmond offered to publish and promote more of Guthrie's songs.
Diagnosed with Huntington's Chorea.
Moved to Topanga Canyon, California; met Anneke Van Kirk Marshall.
Married Anneke Van Kirk (divorced summer 1956); returned to New York.
Pete Seeger began touring college campuses, introducing Guthrie's songs to new audiences.
Checked into Brooklyn State Hospital.
Launch of Guthrie Children's Trust Fund: Pete Seeger, Harold Leventhal, and Lou Gordon served as trustees overseeing Woody's estate, with Arlo, Joady, and Nora (Woody and Marjorie's children) as beneficiaries.
Benefit concert for Guthrie Children's Trust Fund held at Pythian Hall in New York.
Voluntarily checked out of Brooklyn State Hospital.
Involuntarily checked into Greystone Park in Morris Plains, New Jersey.
Kingston Trio scored popular success with folk ballad "Tom Dooley," signaling the beginning of an urban folk revival.
Bob and Sidsel Gleason began hosting Guthrie in their home in East Orange, New Jersey, every Sunday; folksingers gathered to play and pay homage.
Visited by Bob Dylan.
Transferred to Brooklyn State Hospital.
Release of 1940 Library of Congress recordings as three-record set on Elektra (New York: EKL-271/272).
Publication of Born to Win, a collection of writings (New York: Macmillan).
Commended by U.S. Department of the Interior for Columbia River songs, presented with Conservation Service Award, and honored by having substation of Bonneville Power Authority named for him.
Committee to Combat Huntington's Disease (CCHD) formed by Marjorie Guthrie.
Died, Brooklyn State Hospital, New York.
Posthumously inducted into Songwriters' Hall of Fame.
Posthumously inducted into Nashville Songwriters Foundation, Inc.
Posthumously inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Posthumously awarded Lifetime Achievement Award by North American Folk Music and Dance Alliance.