A guest blog by Adam Officer who is organising Saturday’s Will Kaufman’s WOODY GUTHRIE: HARD TIMES AND HARD TRAVELIN’ event
You would perhaps find it difficult to pinpoint the most bizarre story to come out of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign so far.
Earlier this year, American musician, academic and Woody Guthrie enthusiast Will Kaufman laid a claim as good as any. He uncovered the unlikely tale of how Woody Guthrie, a prolific folksinger and champion of the poor, came to live in an apartment owned by Trump’s father in the 1950’s.
Working in the Woody Guthrie Archives in Tulsa, Kaufman discovered previously unpublished writings, which attack “Old Man Trump” for being racist. As Kaufman explains, ‘Recalling these foundations becomes all the more relevant in the wake of the racially charged proclamations of Donald Trump, who last year announced: “My legacy has its roots in my father’s legacy.”’
Will Kaufman’s compelling ‘live documentary’ is an exciting and timely performance which sets Guthrie’s songs in their historical context – the Dust Bowl, the Depression, the New Deal and the state of popular music itself, bringing to light the blending of music and radical politics that marks Guthrie’s most powerful work. The show highlights the contrasting politics between Woody Guthrie’s vision of an alternate America that works for everyone and an America envisioned by the likes of Donald Trump.
People’s History Museum are hosting Will Kaufman’s ‘live documentary’ on Sat 9 April.
Tickets are available here.
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