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Arlo Guthrie

Dave Beck
02/17/2003

Folk-rock legend Arlo Guthrie talks about carrying on his father's legacy of music making and social activism.

Also this hour

Rambliní Jack Elliot, a central figure in American folk music, performs and talks with host Dave Beck.

At 2:05pm - Arlo Guthrie
Like his father Woody Guthrie, Arlo Guthrie has carved out a career as a folksinger and songwriter with a social conscience who leavens political messages with humor. Though Woody Guthrie was hospitalized for much of Arlo's youth, the youngster nevertheless grew up in a musical community that included Pete Seeger, Leadbelly, and Cisco Houston. He learned to play the guitar at age six and was performing in coffeehouses by his late teens.

Guthrie's early fame was based on his anti-Establishment shaggy-dog story in song, Alice's Restaurant, actually a comic monolog about the singer's troubles with the police and the draft board that was extremely timely when it appeared on record in 1967. The Alice's Restaurant album became Guthrie's only gold record, but he made a series of folk-rock records through the '70s, filling them with his own songs and those of his contemporaries, notably Steve Goodman's The City of New Orleans, which became Guthrie's sole hit single in 1972.

Arlo Guthrie plays live in our performance studio and talks about carrying on his father's legacy of music making and social activism.

At 2:35pm - Ramblin' Jack Elliot
Master storyteller and balladeer Rambliní Jack Elliotís career has spanned five decades, beginning in the early 1950's when he traveled the country with mentor Woody Guthrie, and winning him acclaim as a central figure in the American folk music revolution of the 1960's. Elliott has often been cited as one of Bob Dylanís primary early influences, and while in Europe the 1950's, Jack inspired Mick Jagger to pick up his first guitar. Over the years Elliott has collaborated with many of the great folk musicians of the age, including Johnny Cash, Arlo Guthrie, and Kris Kristofferson. In 1996, Rambliní Jack won a Grammy award for best traditional folk album, and that same year was awarded the National Medal of the Arts by President Bill Clinton. A new film about his life, The Ballad of Rambliní Jack, written and directed by his daughter Aiyana Elliot, was recently released to national acclaim.

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