Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Behind the Songs: Bound for Glory

"Now they sing out his praises on every distant shore
But so few remember what he was fightin' for
Oh why sing the songs and forget about the aim?
He wrote them for a reason, why not sing them for the same"
--Phil Ochs, "Bound for Glory" (1963)

Bound for Glory: The Hard-Driving, Truth-Telling Autobiography of America's Great Poet-Folk Singer

He was a hard traveler before there were any easy riders

Woody Guthrie was born in Oklahoma and traveled this whole country over--not by jet or motorcycle, but by boxcar, thumb, and foot. During the journey of discovery that was his life, he composed and sang words and music that have become a national heritage. His songs, however, are but part of his legacy. Behind him Woody Guthrie left a remarkable autobiography that vividly brings to life both his vibrant personality and a vision of America we cannot afford to let die.

"Even readers who never heard Woody or his songs will understand the current esteem in which he's held after reading just a few pages...Always shockingly immediate and real, as if Woody were telling it out loud...A book to make novelists and sociologists jealous."
--The Nation

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