Woody Guthrie to be given Pioneer Award
BY JENNIFER CHANCELLOR World Scene Writer
Tuesday, May 01, 2012
Iconic folk singer-songwriter Woody Guthrie will be posthumously awarded the Pioneer Award at this year’s National Songwriters Hall of Fame gala, June 14 in New York City.
“This year, we join musicians and songwriters from around the world in celebrating Woody Guthrie’s 100th birthday,” hall of fame chairman Jimmy Webb confirmed Tuesday. “(He is) one of the great songwriters of all time.”
Previously announced inductees include Gordon Lightfoot, Bob Seger, Don Schlitz, Harvey Schmidt with Tom Jones and Jim Steinman. Past inductees include Oklahomans Webb (1986), Leon Russell (2011) and Garth Brooks (2011). Guthrie was originally inducted to the National Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970.
The Pioneer Award was established this year to honor careers of historic creator of a major bodies of musical work that have influenced generations of songwriters. Guthrie is its first recipient.
Often called “the Dustbowl balladeer,” Guthrie wrote more than 3,000 songs in his lifetime, including American staples “This Land Is Your Land,” “This Train Is Bound For Glory,” “Pastures of Plenty” and “Pretty Boy Floyd.”
He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1977, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, and given the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999.
To commemorate Guthrie’s centennial year, Woody Guthrie Publications and the Grammy Museum, along with local, regional, national and international organizations, are celebrating his achievements.
The Woody Guthrie Free Folk Festival is July 11-15 in Guthrie’s home town of Okamah. For more information on that event, visit tulsaworld.com/guthriefest.
Iconic folk singer-songwriter Woody Guthrie will be posthumously awarded the Pioneer Award at this year’s National Songwriters Hall of Fame gala, June 14 in New York City.(AP Photo/File)