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Woody Guthrie's music to be celebrated in concert

Celebrate 100 years of Woody Guthrie's music with Tony Glover, Charlie Maguire and Pop Wagner at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18 at Calvary Lutheran Church.

The Park Rapids Area Library and Park Rapids Lakes Area Arts Council are collaborating to host this free program, a celebration of the music and the icon Woody Guthrie represented.

Over the decades, Woody Guthrie's songs have run around the world like a fast train on a well-oiled track. They've become the folk song standards of the nation, known and performed in many languages throughout the world, spreading messages of the power of the people. Pretty Boy Floyd, Pastures of Plenty, Hard Travelin', Deportees, Roll On Columbia, Vigilante Man and This Land Is Your Land are among the hundreds of his songs that have become staples in the canon of American music.

Woody Guthrie was born July 14, 1912 in Okemah, Okla. and died Oct. 3, 1967 in Queens, N.Y. During his lifetime, Woody Guthrie wrote nearly 3,000 song lyrics, published two novels, created artworks, and authored numerous published and unpublished manuscripts, poems, prose and plays. Hundreds of letters and news articles about him are housed in the Woody Guthrie Archives in New York.

Having lived through some of the most significant historic movements and events of the 20th Century - the Great Depression, the Great Dust Storm, World War II, the social and political upheavals resulting from Unionism, the Communist Party and the Cold War - Woody Guthrie absorbed it all to become a prolific writer whose songs, ballads, prose and poetry captured the plight of everyman. While traveling throughout the American landscape during the 1930s, '40s and '50s, the observations of what he saw and experienced left a lasting and sometimes haunting legacy of images, sounds and voices of the marginalized, disenfranchised and oppressed people with whom he struggled to survive despite all odds.

Maguire, Glover and Wagner will present a taste of Woody's music and story through original pieces as well as through Woody's own music.

Maguire's been playing guitar since age 10. He's written over 800 songs and produced seven albums, telling stories, writing plays, performing in schools, cafes, street corners and state parks, singing for all ages as he highlights the lives and history of everyday people. Similar to Woody, he embodies the concerns of the day to raise awareness, advocate for the people and honor our history. As the leader of the Woody Reflected tour, he brings a legacy of music that tells our story and honors our culture. Maguire was tutored and mentored as one of "Woody's Children" by Guthrie fellow traveler Lee Hays in the 1970s. Maguire's history as a storyteller/musician and creator of theatre-like presentations, qualifies him uniquely for creating this trio presentation on Guthrie.

Wagner has a reputation as a singer, picker, fiddler, lasso twirler, poet and downright funny guy. He appeared on Public Radio's A Prairie Home Companion during the show's formative years and for the last four decades has worked his cowboy magic throughout 44 states and 10 countries. His cowboy anthems crackle with the warmth of a prairie campfire and his old-time fiddle tunes set toes a-tappin' while he serves up spellbinding rope tricks and tall stories - all with a good dose of friendly humor.

Tony Glover actually met Woody Guthrie on a visit that he made with friends at Kings County Hospital, Brooklyn, in 1962. He's been a performing musician and writer since 1962. In the mid-60s, he recorded and toured as part of the seminal folk-blues trio Koerner, Ray & Glover.

This free Legacy Program is funded in part or in whole with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on Nov. 4, 2008 which dedicated funding to preserve Minnesota's art and cultural heritage.