Oklahoma folks music icon Woody Guthrie would have turned 100 years old this year, so Tulsa is hosting a different kind of celebration with its Woody Guthrie Centennial Celebration, March 5-11. Guthrie’s life, music and impact on culture are being observed with a major exhibit, a conference at the University of Tulsa and a star-studded tribute concert.
Woody at 100: The Woody Guthrie Centennial Celebration 1912-2012 sponsored by the George Kaiser Family Foundation, continues at the Gilcrease Museum through April 29 and includes everything from journals and artwork to the original draft of the lyrics for Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land.”
The March 10 TU conference, Different Shades of Red, includes sessions that examine Guthrie’s political and social views, explore musical influences, and address Guthrie’s legacy as it pertains to Depression-era Oklahoma.
The celebration reaches its climax on March 10 with The Woody Guthrie Centennial Celebration Concert at the historic Brady Theater. Performing Guthrie songs, headliners include John Mellencamp, Arlo Guthrie, Rosanne Cash and The Flaming Lips, among others.
Tulsa will continue to be at the center of preserving Guthrie’s legacy. The George Kaiser Family Foundation purchased the Woody Guthrie Archives and is creating a permanent home for the archives in downtown Tulsa.