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'Woody Guthrie' visits P.T.
Allen is a Humanities Washington re-enactor, part of the Inquiring Minds series. He has been working the folk music circuit for more than 50 years, entertaining in coffeehouses, at state fairs, festivals, libraries and granges. Early on he became a devotee of Woody Guthrie and has been interpreting Guthrie's songs at such venues as the Smithsonian, the Guthrie festivals in Oklahoma and Texas, and on Oregon Arts Beat on
Oregon Public Broadcasting.
Guthrie's music has a strong historical connection to Washington. In May 1941, the 28-year-old itinerant folk singer was hired by the Bonneville Power Administration to write songs about the New Deal power projects being built in the Pacific Northwest.
He wrote 26 songs in 30 days - songs about the river, the dams, the men working on the project and what he saw around him in this green, growing land he never had seen before.
Allen tells the story of how the songs were written and what the times were like just as if the songs and stories were being told by Guthrie himself.