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Woody Guthrie Center brings folk singer back to Oklahoma

Located in Tulsa's Brady Arts District, new home of the Woody Guthrie Archives opens its doors to the public for the first time Saturday afternoon.
by Brandy McDonnell Modified: April 26, 2013 at 11:35 pm •  Published: April 27, 2013

“You don't have to play an instrument to love Woody's philosophy. You don't even have to love folk music to love Woody's philosophy. It's included there if you want it, but if you don't, there's a road to Woody's heart that's open and available to anyone,” she told about 20 journalists gathered in the center's theater.

“My father's favorite line was, ‘I'm out to sing the songs that make you take pride in yourself and in your work.' And in a time now when we're so distracted by celebrity-ism ... I'm just hoping this center will expand and really connect to all walks of life.”

Oklahoma home

Born July 14, 1912, in Okemah, Woody Guthrie is best remembered as a folk singer-songwriter, but he also was an artist, writer and activist. He died Oct. 3, 1967, in New York, where his daughter was born and bred.

But Nora Guthrie has long believed the archives belonged in Oklahoma. And Stanton Doyle, a senior program officer with the Kaiser Family Foundation, thinks the revived neighborhood of Cain's Ballroom and the Brady Theater makes a fine spot.

“It's really the perfect space,” Doyle said. “There's a huge list of famous people from Oklahoma, but in terms of, like, really inspirational people from Oklahoma, Will Rogers and Woody Guthrie are the top two.”

by Brandy McDonnell
Entertainment Reporter
Brandy McDonnell, also known by her initials BAM, writes stories and reviews on movies, music, the arts and other aspects of entertainment. She is NewsOK’s top blogger: Her 4-year-old entertainment news blog, BAM’s Blog, has notched more than 1...
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