This Week in Texas Music History: Woody Guthrie
This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll recall a natural disaster that inspired a folk anthem.
On April 14, 1935, an enormous dust storm blew through the Texas Panhandle, inundating the small town of Pampa. Woody Guthrie, born in Oklahoma on July 14, 1912, had moved to Pampa, Texas, in 1931 to live with his uncle. While in Pampa, Guthrie first began performing publicly. By the time the Great Dust Bowl hit in the mid-1930s, Guthrie was writing many of his own songs about the widespread suffering brought on by the Great Depression. The April 14th dust storm that buried Pampa convinced Guthrie and many others to pack up and leave for California. It also inspired one of Guthrie’s best-known tunes.
The difficult years he spent in the Texas Panhandle helped launch Woody Guthrie’s musical career and put him on the path to becoming one of this country’s most prolific and influential songwriters.
Next time on This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll honor a man who helped inspire the creation of one of the state’s most popular record labels.