New York City
The City of New York called either New York City or New York, is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2017 population of 8,622,698 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles, New York is the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 20,320,876 people in its 2017 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 23,876,155 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural and media capital of the world, exerts a significant impact upon commerce, research, education, tourism, art and sports; the city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.
Situated on one of the world's largest natural harbors, New York City consists of five boroughs, each of, a separate county of the State of New York. The five boroughs – Brooklyn, Manhattan, The Bronx, Staten Island – were consolidated into a single city in 1898; the city and its metropolitan area constitute the premier gateway for legal immigration to the United States. As many as 800 languages are spoken in New York, making it the most linguistically diverse city in the world. New York City is home to more than 3.2 million residents born outside the United States, the largest foreign-born population of any city in the world. In 2017, the New York metropolitan area produced a gross metropolitan product of US$1.73 trillion. If greater New York City were a sovereign state, it would have the 12th highest GDP in the world. New York is home to the highest number of billionaires of any city in the world. New York City traces its origins to a trading post founded by colonists from the Dutch Republic in 1624 on Lower Manhattan.
The city and its surroundings came under English control in 1664 and were renamed New York after King Charles II of England granted the lands to his brother, the Duke of York. New York served as the capital of the United States from 1785 until 1790, it has been the country's largest city since 1790. The Statue of Liberty greeted millions of immigrants as they came to the U. S. by ship in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and is an international symbol of the U. S. and its ideals of liberty and peace. In the 21st century, New York has emerged as a global node of creativity and entrepreneurship, social tolerance, environmental sustainability, as a symbol of freedom and cultural diversity. Many districts and landmarks in New York City are well known, with the city having three of the world's ten most visited tourist attractions in 2013 and receiving a record 62.8 million tourists in 2017. Several sources have ranked New York the most photographed city in the world. Times Square, iconic as the world's "heart" and its "Crossroads", is the brightly illuminated hub of the Broadway Theater District, one of the world's busiest pedestrian intersections, a major center of the world's entertainment industry.
The names of many of the city's landmarks and parks are known around the world. Manhattan's real estate market is among the most expensive in the world. New York is home to the largest ethnic Chinese population outside of Asia, with multiple signature Chinatowns developing across the city. Providing continuous 24/7 service, the New York City Subway is the largest single-operator rapid transit system worldwide, with 472 rail stations. Over 120 colleges and universities are located in New York City, including Columbia University, New York University, Rockefeller University, which have been ranked among the top universities in the world. Anchored by Wall Street in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan, New York has been called both the most economically powerful city and the leading financial center of the world, the city is home to the world's two largest stock exchanges by total market capitalization, the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ. In 1664, the city was named in honor of the Duke of York.
James's older brother, King Charles II, had appointed the Duke proprietor of the former territory of New Netherland, including the city of New Amsterdam, which England had seized from the Dutch. During the Wisconsinan glaciation, 75,000 to 11,000 years ago, the New York City region was situated at the edge of a large ice sheet over 1,000 feet in depth; the erosive forward movement of the ice contributed to the separation of what is now Long Island and Staten Island. That action left bedrock at a shallow depth, providing a solid foundation for most of Manhattan's skyscrapers. In the precolonial era, the area of present-day New York City was inhabited by Algonquian Native Americans, including the Lenape, whose homeland, known as Lenapehoking, included Staten Island; the first documented visit into New York Harbor by a European was in 1524 by Giovanni da Verrazzano, a Florentine explorer in the service of the French crown. He named it Nouvelle Angoulême. A Spanish expedition led by captain Estêvão Gomes, a Portuguese sailing for Emperor Charles V, arrived in New York Harbor in January 1525 and charted the mouth of the Hudson River, which he named Río de San Antonio.
The Padrón Rea
Colin Larkin (writer)
Colin Larkin is a British writer and entrepreneur. He founded, was the editor in chief of, the Encyclopedia of Popular Music, described by The Times as "the standard against which all others must be judged". Along with the ten-volume encyclopedia, Larkin wrote the book All Time Top 1000 Albums, edited the Guinness Who's Who Of Jazz, the Guinness Who's Who Of Blues, the Virgin Encyclopedia Of Heavy Rock The compiler of the most extensive database of popular music in Europe and the US, a writer and book designer by trade, Larkin has over 650,000 copies in print to date; as an authority on popular music, Larkin has been interviewed on radio, had a regular slot on BBC GLR for two years in the 1990s. Colin Larkin was born in Dagenham in 1949 in an area of Essex, populated by workers in the car industry. Although the post-war years proved lucrative for the Ford motor company, Larkin was raised in relative poverty in the largest area of council housing in the United Kingdom, in the suburbs that surrounded the Ford plant.
The Becontree estate in Dagenham began as a conglomeration of 27,000 "homes for heroes", had no recognisable town centre. Larkin spent much of his early childhood attending the travelling fair where his father, who worked by day as a plumber for the council, moonlighted on the waltzers to make ends meet, it was in the fairground, against a background of Little Richard on the wind-up 78 rpm turntables, that Larkin acquired his passion for the world of popular music, a taste for exotic pattern and vivid colour, which would re-surface in years in books on Islamic art and architecture, oriental rugs. In the 1960s Larkin attended the South East Essex County Technical High School following which, under his own initiative he obtained an apprenticeship as a commercial artist, enabling him to take a sandwich course at the London College of Printing. There he studied book design, and was influenced by the typeface designer Eric Gill, associated with the arts and crafts movement. Larkin began his working life in commercial art, advertising studios and design groups and for the book publisher Pearson Longmans.
In 1967 he began writing for music magazines. At Longmans he became senior book designer, but he soon tired of working for the publishing house and by 1976 had co-founded his own book publishing company, Scorpion Publishing. From the outset Larkin was intent upon reaching areas of the book reading public that other publishers felt it unnecessary or unprofitable to reach. Scorpion Publishing published art books on Islamic Art, they designed and published John Gorman's trilogy of Labour history, Banner Bright, To Build Jerusalem and Images of Labour. Notable music books at this time included Timeless Flight: The Definitive Story of The Byrds and Bob Dylan's Unreleased Recordings. In the 1980s Larkin, who read music magazines avidly and was acquiring a considerable personal library of singles and albums, began to consider the idea of "an encyclopedia of popular music", his passion for an encyclopedia that would do for Bob Dylan and the Beatles what the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians had done for more classical subjects, moreover do it better took over when in 1989 he sold his half of Scorpion Books to fund the project and founded Square One Books.
In 1989 Larkin formed Square One Books to create a multi-volume Encyclopedia of Popular Music, to publish music related books. He published additional music biographies including those on Graham Bond, R. E. M. Eric Clapton, The Byrds and Frank Zappa, a further book on Bob Dylan, Oh No, Not Another Bob Dylan Book. In a pre-internet age, the work required to create an encyclopedia of popular music was considerable. Aided by a team of contributors, a fast-growing library of music magazines and the music itself, an eventual 3000 vinyl singles, 3500 vinyl albums, 4500 music biographies and 38,000 CDs, Larkin began compiling the Encyclopedia. In 1992 the first edition of the Encyclopedia of Popular Music went into print, it was recognised as monumental: Rolling Stone described the work as "musical history in the making", in The Times they called it "a work of frightening completeness". Musician Jools Holland called it "without question the most useful reference work on popular music". In May 2011 Omnibus Press released the Amazon Kindle edition of the Encyclopedia of Popular Music, using the text of the 2007 edition.
Square One developed their own in-house software using 4th Dimension. Over 50 separate titles followed the creation of the Encyclopedia's database, in 1997 Larkin sold Square One Books to American data company Muze. Larkin became full-time editor-in-chief and ran the encyclopedia as a cottage industry, with a team of fewer than ten contributors, who in terms of wordcount were "producing an Agatha Christie novel a month". From September 2008 Larkin ceased all involvement with Muze Inc. or any of its related companies following the closure of the Encyclopedia of Popular Music as a stand-alone product and his subsequent redundancy. On 15 April 2009, it was announced that most of the assets of Muze Inc. were purchased by Macrovision. In 2008, Larkin launched a new website whose original inspiration had come from the All Time Top 1000 Albums called 1000Greatest.com. This would change its name to become the multi-media rating site and iPhone app, btoe.com.. Larkin re-directed the content to Musopedia.com.
He is editor-in-chief of Musopedia Ltd.. From 2013 to 2017 he was the main contributor of music biographies and album reviews for Quantone Music, an in depth music data company. In 2018 he was commissioned by BMG
Huddie William Ledbetter was an American folk and blues singer and songwriter notable for his strong vocals, virtuosity on the twelve-string guitar, the folk standards he introduced. He is best known as Lead Belly. Though many releases credit him as "Leadbelly", he himself wrote it as "Lead Belly", the spelling on his tombstone and the spelling used by the Lead Belly Foundation. Lead Belly played a twelve-string guitar, but he played the piano, harmonica, "windjammer". In some of his recordings, he sang while stomping his foot. Lead Belly's songs covered a wide range of topics including gospel music, he wrote songs about people in the news, such as Franklin D. Roosevelt, Adolf Hitler, Jean Harlow, Jack Johnson, the Scottsboro Boys and Howard Hughes. Lead Belly was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988 and the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in 2008. Lead Belly was born Huddie William Ledbetter to Sally and Wesley Ledbetter on a plantation near Mooringsport, Louisiana, on January 20, 1888.
The 1900 United States Census lists "Hudy Ledbetter" as 12 years old, born January 1888, the 1910 and 1930 censuses give his age as corresponding to a birth in 1888. The 1940 census lists his age with information supplied by wife Martha. However, in April 1942, when Ledbetter filled out his World War II draft registration, he gave his birth date as January 23, 1889, his birthplace as Freeport, Louisiana, his grave marker bears the date given on his draft registration. Ledbetter was the younger of two children born to Sallie Brown; the pronunciation of his name is purported to be "HYEW-dee" or "HUGH-dee". Leadbelly, can be heard pronouncing his name as "HUH-dee" on the track "Boll Weevil," from the Smithsonian Folkways album Lead Belly Sings for Children, his parents had cohabited for several years, but they married on February 26, 1888. When Huddie was five years old, the family settled in Texas; the 1910 census of Harrison County, shows "Hudy" Ledbetter living next door to his parents with his first wife, Aletha "Lethe" Henderson.
Aletha is married one year. Others say she was 15 when they married in 1908, it was in Texas that Ledbetter received an accordion, from his uncle Terrell. By his early twenties, having fathered at least two children, Ledbetter left home to make his living as a guitarist and occasional laborer; when Lead Belly was released from his last prison sentence, the United States was deep in the Great Depression, jobs were scarce. In September 1934, in need of regular work in order to avoid cancellation of his release from prison, Lead Belly asked John Lomax to take him on as a driver. For three months, he assisted the 67-year-old in his folk song collecting around the South. By 1903, Huddie was a "musicianer", a singer and guitarist of some note, he performed for nearby Shreveport audiences in St. Paul's Bottoms, a notorious red-light district there, he began to develop his own style of music after exposure to various musical influences on Shreveport's Fannin Street, a row of saloons and dance halls in the Bottoms, now referred to as Ledbetter Heights.
While in prison, Lead Belly may have first heard the traditional prison song "Midnight Special". He was "discovered" there three years during a visit by folklorists John Lomax and his son Alan Lomax. Impressed by Ledbetter's vibrant tenor and extensive repertoire, the Lomaxes recorded him in 1933 on portable aluminum disc recording equipment for the Library of Congress, they returned with better equipment in July 1934, recording hundreds of his songs. On August 1, Ledbetter was released after having again served nearly all of his minimum sentence, following a petition the Lomaxes had taken to Louisiana Governor Oscar K. Allen at his urgent request, it was on the other side of a recording of his signature song, "Goodnight Irene." A prison official wrote to John Lomax denying that Ledbetter's singing had anything to do with his release from Angola. However, both Ledbetter and the Lomaxes believed that the record they had taken to the governor had hastened his release from prison. In December 1934, Lead Belly participated in a "smoker" at a Modern Language Association meeting at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, where the senior Lomax had a prior lecturing engagement.
He was written up in the press as a convict. On New Year's Day, 1935, the pair arrived in New York City, where Lomax was scheduled to meet with his publisher, about a new collection of folk songs; the newspapers were eager to write about the "singing convict," and Time magazine made one of its first March of Time newsreels about him. Lead Belly attained fame; the following week, he began recording for the American Record Corporation, but these recordings achieved little commercial success. He recorded over 40 sides for ARC, but only five sides were issued. Part of the reason for the poor sales may have been that ARC released only his blues songs rather than the folk songs for which he would become better known. Lead Belly continued to struggle financially. Like many performers, what income he mad
Washington, D. C. formally the District of Columbia and referred to as Washington or D. C. is the capital of the United States. Founded after the American Revolution as the seat of government of the newly independent country, Washington was named after George Washington, first President of the United States and Founding Father; as the seat of the United States federal government and several international organizations, Washington is an important world political capital. The city is one of the most visited cities in the world, with more than 20 million tourists annually; the signing of the Residence Act on July 16, 1790, approved the creation of a capital district located along the Potomac River on the country's East Coast. The U. S. Constitution provided for a federal district under the exclusive jurisdiction of the U. S. Congress, the District is therefore not a part of any state; the states of Maryland and Virginia each donated land to form the federal district, which included the pre-existing settlements of Georgetown and Alexandria.
The City of Washington was founded in 1791 to serve as the new national capital. In 1846, Congress returned the land ceded by Virginia. Washington had an estimated population of 702,455 as of July 2018, making it the 20th most populous city in the United States. Commuters from the surrounding Maryland and Virginia suburbs raise the city's daytime population to more than one million during the workweek. Washington's metropolitan area, the country's sixth largest, had a 2017 estimated population of 6.2 million residents. All three branches of the U. S. federal government are centered in the District: Congress and the U. S. Supreme Court. Washington is home to many national monuments, museums situated on or around the National Mall; the city hosts 177 foreign embassies as well as the headquarters of many international organizations, trade unions, non-profit, lobbying groups, professional associations, including the World Bank Group, the International Monetary Fund, the Organization of American States, AARP, the National Geographic Society, the Human Rights Campaign, the International Finance Corporation, the American Red Cross.
A locally elected mayor and a 13‑member council have governed the District since 1973. However, Congress may overturn local laws. D. C. residents elect a non-voting, at-large congressional delegate to the House of Representatives, but the District has no representation in the Senate. The District receives three electoral votes in presidential elections as permitted by the Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified in 1961. Various tribes of the Algonquian-speaking Piscataway people inhabited the lands around the Potomac River when Europeans first visited the area in the early 17th century. One group known as the Nacotchtank maintained settlements around the Anacostia River within the present-day District of Columbia. Conflicts with European colonists and neighboring tribes forced the relocation of the Piscataway people, some of whom established a new settlement in 1699 near Point of Rocks, Maryland. In his Federalist No. 43, published January 23, 1788, James Madison argued that the new federal government would need authority over a national capital to provide for its own maintenance and safety.
Five years earlier, a band of unpaid soldiers besieged Congress while its members were meeting in Philadelphia. Known as the Pennsylvania Mutiny of 1783, the event emphasized the need for the national government not to rely on any state for its own security. Article One, Section Eight, of the Constitution permits the establishment of a "District as may, by cession of particular states, the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States". However, the Constitution does not specify a location for the capital. In what is now known as the Compromise of 1790, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson came to an agreement that the federal government would pay each state's remaining Revolutionary War debts in exchange for establishing the new national capital in the southern United States. On July 9, 1790, Congress passed the Residence Act, which approved the creation of a national capital on the Potomac River; the exact location was to be selected by President George Washington, who signed the bill into law on July 16.
Formed from land donated by the states of Maryland and Virginia, the initial shape of the federal district was a square measuring 10 miles on each side, totaling 100 square miles. Two pre-existing settlements were included in the territory: the port of Georgetown, founded in 1751, the city of Alexandria, founded in 1749. During 1791–92, Andrew Ellicott and several assistants, including a free African American astronomer named Benjamin Banneker, surveyed the borders of the federal district and placed boundary stones at every mile point. Many of the stones are still standing. A new federal city was constructed on the north bank of the Potomac, to the east of Georgetown. On September 9, 1791, the three commissioners overseeing the capital's construction named the city in honor of President Washington; the federal district was named Columbia, a poetic name for the United States in use at that time. Congress held its first session in Washington on November 17, 1800. Congress passed the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1801 that organized the District and placed the entire territory under the exclusive control of the federal
Old-time music is a genre of North American folk music. It developed along with various North American folk dances, such as square dancing and buck dancing, it is played on acoustic instruments centering on a combination of fiddle and plucked string instruments, as well as the mandolin. Reflecting the cultures that settled North America, the roots of old-time music are in the traditional musics of the British Isles, Europe. African influences include the banjo. In some regions French and German sources are prominent. While many dance tunes and ballads can be traced to European sources, many others are of North American origin. Old-time music represents the oldest form of North American traditional music other than Native American music, thus the term "old-time" is an appropriate one; as a label, however, it dates back only to 1923. Fiddlin' John Carson made some of the first commercial recordings of traditional American country music for the Okeh label; the recordings became hits. Okeh, which had coined the terms "hillbilly music" to describe Appalachian and Southern fiddle-based and religious music and "race recording" to describe the music of African American recording artists, began using "old-time music" as a term to describe the music made by artists of Carson's style.
The term thus originated as a euphemism, but proved a suitable replacement for other terms that were considered disparaging by many inhabitants of these regions. It remains the term preferred by listeners of the music, it is sometimes referred to as "old-timey" or "mountain music" by long-time practitioners. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries tunes originating in minstrel, Tin Pan Alley and other music styles were adapted into the old-time style. While similar music was played in all regions of the United States in the 18th and 19th centuries, in the 20th century it came to be associated with the Appalachian region. Important revivalists include Mike Seeger and Pete Seeger, who brought the music to New York City as early as the 1940s; the New Lost City Ramblers in particular took the revival across the country and featured older musicians in their show. The band was Mike Seeger, John Cohen, Tom Paley; when Tom left the band, he was replaced by Tracy Schwarz. New Lost City Ramblers sparked new interest in old-timey music.
Old-time music is played using a wide variety of stringed instruments. The instrumentation of an old-time group is determined by what instruments are available, as well as by tradition; the most common instruments are acoustic string instruments. The fiddle was nearly always the leading melodic instrument, in many instances dances were accompanied only by a single fiddler, who also acted as dance caller. By the early 19th century, the banjo had become an essential partner to the fiddle in the southern United States; the banjo a fretless instrument and made from a gourd, played the same melody as the fiddle, while providing a rhythmic accompaniment incorporating a high drone provided by the instrument's short "drone string." The banjo used in old-time music is a 5-string model with an open back. Today old-time banjo players most utilize the clawhammer style, but there were several other styles, most of which are still in use, loosely grouped by region; the major styles were clawhammer, two-finger index lead, two-finger thumb lead, a three-finger "fiddle style" that seems to have been influenced in part by late-19th century urban classical style.
Some players prefer to use a pick when playing melodies on tenor banjo. Young players might learn whatever style a parent or older sibling favored, or take inspiration from phonograph records, traveling performers and migrant workers, local guitarists and banjo players, as well as other musicians they met when traveling to neighboring areas. Having a fiddle play the lead melody with a banjo playing rhythmic accompaniment is the most basic form of Appalachian old-time music, this is the instrumentation most Appalachian old-time musicians consider to be "classic." Because playing with more fingers meant being able to put in more notes, three-finger styles intrigued many players. Individualistic three-finger styles were developed independently by such important figures as Uncle Dave Macon, Dock Boggs, Snuffy Jenkins; those early three-finger styles the technique developed by Jenkins, led to the three-finger Scruggs style created by Earl Scruggs in the 1940s, which helped advance the split between the old-time genre and the solo-centric style that became known as bluegrass.
Jenkins developed a three-finger "roll" method that, while part of the old-time tradition, inspired Scruggs to develop the smoother and more complex rolls that are now standard fare in bluegrass music. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, other stringed instruments began to be added to the fiddle-banjo duo. This, along with a Dobro, is considered to be'standard' bluegrass instrumentation, but old-time music tends to focus on sparser instrumentation and arrangements
Cultural diversity is the quality of diverse or different cultures, as opposed to monoculture, the global monoculture, or a homogenization of cultures, akin to cultural decay. The phrase cultural diversity can refer to having different cultures respect each other's differences; the phrase "cultural diversity" is sometimes used to mean the variety of human societies or cultures in a specific region, or in the world as a whole. Globalization is said to have a negative effect on the world's cultural diversity. Diversity refers to the attributes that people use to confirm themselves with respect to others, “that person is different from me.” These attributes include demographic factors as well as values and cultural norms. The many separate societies that emerged around the globe differs markedly from each other, many of these differences persist to this day; the more obvious cultural differences that exist between people are language and traditions, there are significant variations in the way societies organize themselves, such as in their shared conception of morality, religious belief, in the ways they interact with their environment.
Cultural diversity can be seen as analogous to biodiversity. By analogy with biodiversity, thought to be essential to the long-term survival of life on earth, it can be argued that cultural diversity may be vital for the long-term survival of humanity; the General Conference of UNESCO took this position in 2001, asserting in Article 1 of the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity that "...cultural diversity is as necessary for humankind as biodiversity is for nature."This position is rejected by some people, on several grounds. Firstly, like most evolutionary accounts of human nature, the importance of cultural diversity for survival may be an un-testable hypothesis, which can neither be proved nor disproved. Secondly, it can be argued that it is unethical deliberately to conserve "less developed" societies, because this will deny people within those societies the benefits of technological and medical advances enjoyed by those in the "developed" world. In the same manner that the promotion of poverty in underdeveloped nations as "cultural diversity" is unethical.
It is unethical to promote all religious practices because they are seen to contribute to cultural diversity. Particular religious practices are recognized by the WHO and UN as unethical, including female genital mutilation, child brides, human sacrifice. With the onset of globalization, traditional nation-states have been placed under enormous pressures. Today, with the development of technology and capital are transcending geographical boundaries and reshaping the relationships between the marketplace and citizens. In particular, the growth of the mass media industry has impacted on individuals and societies across the globe. Although beneficial in some ways, this increased accessibility has the capacity to negatively affect a society's individuality. With information being so distributed throughout the world, cultural meanings and tastes run the risk of becoming homogenized; as a result, the strength of identity of individuals and societies may begin to weaken. Some individuals those with strong religious beliefs, maintain that it is in the best interests of individuals and of humanity as a whole that all people adhere to a specific model for society or specific aspects of such a model.
Nowadays, communication between different countries becomes more frequent. And more and more students choose to study overseas for experiencing culture diversity, their goal is to develop themselves from learning overseas. For example, according to Fengling, Chen, Du Yanjun, Yu Ma's paper "Academic Freedom in the People's Republic of China and the United States Of America.", they pointed out that Chinese education more focus on "traditionally, teaching has consisted of spoon feeding, learning has been by rote. China's traditional system of education has sought to make students accept fixed and ossified content." And "In the classroom, Chinese professors are the authorities. On another hand, in United States of America education "American students treat college professors as equals." "American students' are encouraged to debate topics. The free open discussion on various topics is due to the academic freedom which most American colleges and universities enjoy." Discussion above gives us an overall idea about the differences between China and the United States on education.
But we cannot judge which one is better, because each culture has its own advantages and features. Thanks to those difference forms those make our world more colorful. For students who go abroad for education, if they can combine positive culture elements from two different cultures to their self-development, it would be a competitive advantage in their whole career. With current process of global economics, people who owned different perspectives on cultures stand at a more competitive position in current world. Cultural diversity is difficult to quantify, but a good indication is thought to be a count of the number of languages spoken in a region or in the world as a whole. By this measure we may be going through a period of precipitous decline in the world's cultural diversity. Research carried out in the 1990s by David Crystal suggested that at that time, on average, one language was f
Woodrow Wilson Guthrie was an American singer-songwriter, one of the most significant figures in American folk music. He wrote hundreds of political and children's songs, along with ballads and improvised works, his album of songs about the Dust Bowl period, Dust Bowl Ballads, is included on Mojo magazine's list of 100 Records That Changed The World. Many of his recorded songs are archived in the Library of Congress. Songwriters such as Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Johnny Cash, Bruce Springsteen, Robert Hunter, Harry Chapin, John Mellencamp, Pete Seeger, Andy Irvine, Joe Strummer, Billy Bragg, Jerry Garcia, Jay Farrar, Bob Weir, Jeff Tweedy, Bob Childers, Sammy Walker, Tom Paxton, AJJ, Brian Fallon, Sixto Rodríguez have acknowledged Guthrie as a major influence, he performed with the slogan "This machine kills fascists" displayed on his guitar. Guthrie was brought up by middle-class parents in Okemah, until he was 14, when his mother Mary was hospitalized as a consequence of Huntington's disease, a fatal hereditary neurological disorder.
His father moved to Texas, to repay debts from unsuccessful real estate deals. During his early teens, Guthrie learned blues songs from his parents' friends, he married at 19, but with the advent of the dust storms that marked the Dust Bowl period, he left his wife and three children to join the thousands of Okies who were migrating to California looking for employment. He worked at Los Angeles radio station KFVD. Throughout his life, Guthrie was associated with United States Communist groups, although he did not appear to be a member of any. With the outbreak of World War II and the non-aggression pact the Soviet Union had signed with Germany in 1939, the owners of KFVD radio were not comfortable with Guthrie's Communist sympathies, he left the station, ending up in New York where he wrote and recorded his 1940 album Dust Bowl Ballads, based on his experiences during the 1930s, which earned him the nickname the "Dust Bowl Troubadour". In February 1940 he wrote his most famous song, "This Land Is Your Land".
He said it was a response to what he felt was the overplaying of Irving Berlin's "God Bless America" on the radio. Guthrie was fathered eight children, his son Arlo Guthrie became nationally known as a musician. Guthrie died in 1967 from complications of Huntington's disease, his first two daughters died of the disease. During his years, in spite of his illness, Guthrie served as a figurehead in the folk movement, providing inspiration to a generation of new folk musicians, including mentoring Ramblin' Jack Elliott and Bob Dylan. Guthrie was born 14 July 1912 in Okemah, a small town in Okfuskee County, the son of Nora Belle and Charles Edward Guthrie, his parents named him after Woodrow Wilson Governor of New Jersey and the Democratic candidate, elected as President of the United States in fall 1912. Charles Guthrie was an industrious businessman, owning at one time up to 30 plots of land in Okfuskee County, he was involved in Oklahoma politics and was a conservative Democratic candidate for office in the county.
Charles Guthrie was involved in the 1911 lynching of Laura and L. D. Nelson. Three significant fires occurred during Guthrie's early life, one that caused the loss of his family's home in Okemah; when Guthrie was seven, his sister Clara died after setting her clothes on fire during an argument with her mother, their father was burned in a fire at home. Guthrie's mother, was afflicted with Huntington's disease, although the family did not know this at the time. What they could see was dementia and muscular degeneration; when Woody was 14, she was committed to the Oklahoma Hospital for the Insane. At the time his father Charley was living and working in Pampa, Texas, to repay debts from unsuccessful real estate deals. Woody and his siblings were on their own in Oklahoma; the 14-year-old Woody Guthrie worked odd jobs around Okemah, begging meals and sometimes sleeping at the homes of family friends. Guthrie had a natural affinity for music, learning old ballads and traditional English and Scottish songs from the parents of friends.
Guthrie befriended an African-American shoeshine boy named "George", who played blues on his harmonica. After listening to George play, Guthrie began playing along with him, he used to busk for food. Although Guthrie did not do well as a student and dropped out of high school in his senior year before graduation, his teachers described him as bright, he was an avid reader on a wide range of topics. In 1929, Guthrie's father sent for Woody to join him in Texas, but little changed for the aspiring musician. Guthrie 18, was reluctant to attend high school classes in Pampa, he played at dances with his father's half-brother Jeff Guthrie, a fiddle player. His mother died in 1930 of complications of Huntington's disease while still in the Oklahoma Hospital for the Insane. At age 19, Guthrie met and married his first wife, Mary Jennings, in Texas in 1931, they had three children together: Gwendolyn and Bill. Bill died at age 23 of an automo