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Transatlantic Roots MusicFolk, Blues, and National Identities$
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Jill Terry and Neil A. Wynn

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9781617032882

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781617032882.001.0001

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date: 20 April 2019

Woody Guthrie at the Crossroads1

Woody Guthrie at the Crossroads1

(p.77) 5 Woody Guthrie at the Crossroads1
Transatlantic Roots Music

Will Kaufman

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter explores the different meanings and interpretations of one of the most influential American folk singers of the 1930s and 1940s, Woody Guthrie. It implicitly addresses the issue of what “folk” music means and looks particularly at the notion that Guthrie’s music was “proletarian,” reflecting the views of the Okies, Arkies, and trade unionists, or whether it was shaped instead more by middle-class, urban audiences. The chapter also looks at the issue raised in Chapter 1 of the relationship between folk and popular music and the extent to which recorded, as opposed to performed, music also led to different meanings.

Keywords:   American folk singers, folk music, proletarian music, popular music

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