Start celebrating the 100th birthday of Woody Guthrie with his New Year Resolutions

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For many, the end of the year is a time to pause and reflect about the events of the past year and start planning for the upcoming year.

Have you made your New Year resolutions yet? If not you’re running out of time! There are only a few hours to go until 2012.

If you need some guidance you might check out the New Year’s “Rulin’s” that a then 30-year-old Woody Guthrie jotted down in 1942 (see picture above). Currently making the rounds on the internet, Guthrie’s list contains simple items for living life (complete with companion doodles and sketches in the margins) to remember in the next year. Items include “Work more and better,” “Write a song a day,” and “Wear clean clothes – look good.” The list is part ‘to-do list’ and part thoughts on how to live life as a better person in the upcoming year. Guthrie included both positive (“Play and sing good”, “Love everybody”) and negative attributes (“Learn people better”, “Don’t get lonesome” and “Dance better”) of his persona in the list.

This reminder of how Guthrie wanted to live his life segues perfectly into a celebration of what would have been his 100th birthday in 2012.

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This week Nora Guthrie, the daughter of Woody Guthrie and sister of Arlo, confirmed the archives dedicated to her father will relocate from New York to Tulsa, OK.

Purchased by the George Kaiser Family Foundation, the archives will be housed in a former warehouse in downtown Tulsa as part of a four building complex slated to open by January 2013. The center will focus on the arts and house not only the Guthrie archives, but also offices for the Tulsa Symphony, space for the University of Tulsa, the Brady Craft Alliance and a satellite museum of Native American and Southwestern Art.

It will be a homecoming of sorts as Guthrie was born Woodrow Wilson Guthrie (after the recently inaugurated President of the United States) in Okemah, OK on July 14, 1912.

This year will also see a release of new music by Jay Farrar, Will Johnson, Anders Parker and Yim Yames paired with unpublished lyrics written by Guthrie. In an interview with Farrar that I did for 88.1 KDHX the singer/songwriter spoke about the details of the project titled New Multitudes due out in January 2012 on Rounder Records.

Further, Nonesuch Records plans to release a Deluxe Box Set of the classic 1998 album Mermaid Avenue by Billy Bragg and Wilco in March, 2012 — the first album to pair new music with Guthrie’s unpublished lyrics.

For a detailed calendar of events, educational conferences, grassroots events and more new musical releases planned in conjunction with the centennial celebration of Woody Guthrie visit the Woody 100 website.

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About Scott Allen

Music connoisseur, record collector, St. Louis Cardinals baseball fan, DJ and writer wanna-be. I write about music that moves me.
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5 Responses to Start celebrating the 100th birthday of Woody Guthrie with his New Year Resolutions

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