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ARLO GUTHRIE

Arlo_Guthrie_2007

BIOGRAPHICAL DETAILS

Full Name: Arlo Davy Guthrie

Description: Vocalist , Composer, Guitarist, USA

Known For: His most famous work is “Alice

Instruments: Voice
Music Styles: Easy Listening, Folk

Location: NY, United States of America

Date Born: 10th July 1947
Location Born: Coney Island, New York, United States of America.

CONTACT DETAILS
Web Site:  Official website

Other Links: See below:

YOUTUBE VIDEO

BIOGRAPHICAL PROFILE

Arlo Guthrie

Arlo Davy Guthrie (born July 10, 1947) is an American folk singer. Like his father, Woody Guthrie, Arlo is known for singing songs of protest against social injustice. Guthrie’s best-known work is “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree”, a satirical talking blues song about 18 minutes in length. His song “Massachusetts” was named the official folk song of the state in which he has lived most of his adult life.

Arlo Guthrie was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of folk singer and composer Woody Guthrie and his wife Marjorie Mazia Guthrie. His sister is record producer Nora Guthrie. His mother was a one-time professional dancer with the Martha Graham Company and founder of the Committee to Combat Huntington’s disease, the disease that took Woody’s life in 1967. His father was from a Protestant family and his mother was Jewish. His maternal grandmother was renowned Yiddish poet Aliza Greenblatt.

Guthrie received religious training for his bar mitzvah from Rabbi Meir Kahane, who would go on to form the Jewish Defense League. “Rabbi Kahane was a really nice, patient teacher,” Guthrie later recalled, “but shortly after he started giving me my lessons, he started going haywire. Maybe I was responsible.” Guthrie converted to Catholicism in 1977, before embracing interfaith beliefs later in his life.

Guthrie attended Woodward School in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn 1st through 8th grades and later graduated from the Stockbridge School, in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, in 1965, and briefly attended Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana. He received an Honorary Doctorate from Westfield State College, in 2008.

As a singer, songwriter and lifelong political activist, Guthrie carries on the legacy of his legendary father. He was awarded the Peace Abbey Courage of Conscience award on September 26, 1992.

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“Alice’s Restaurant”

His most famous work is “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree”, a talking blues song that lasts 18 minutes and 34 seconds in its original recorded version. Guthrie has pointed out that this was also the exact length of one of the famous gaps in Richard Nixon’s Watergate tapes. He has been known to spin the story out to forty-five minutes in concert. The Alice in the song is Alice Brock, who had been a librarian at Arlo’s boarding school in town before opening her restaurant, and who now owns an art studio in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

The song lampoons the Vietnam War draft. However, Guthrie stated in a 2009 interview with Ron Bennington that the song is more an “anti-stupidity” song than an anti-war song, adding that it is based on a true incident. In the song, Guthrie is called up for a draft examination, and rejected as unfit for military service as a result of a criminal record consisting in its entirety of a single arrest, court appearance, fine, and clean-up order for littering and creating a public nuisance on Thanksgiving Day in 1965, when Arlo was 18 years old. Alice and her restaurant make up the recurrent refrain, but barely figure in the story. On the DVD commentary for the 1969 movie, Guthrie states that the events presented in the song all actually happened.

For a short period after its release in 1967, “Alice’s Restaurant” was heavily played on U.S. college and counterculture radio stations. It became a symbol of the late 1960s and for many it defined an attitude and lifestyle that were lived out across the country in the ensuing years. Its leisurely, sassy finger-picking acoustic guitar and rambling lyrics were widely memorized and played by irreverent youth. Many stations across the States have made playing “Alice’s Restaurant” a Thanksgiving Day tradition.

A 1969 film, directed and co-written by Arthur Penn, was based on the true story told in the song, but with the addition of a large number of fictional scenes. This film, also called Alice’s Restaurant, featured Arlo portraying himself. The part of his father Woody Guthrie, who had died in 1967, was played by an actor, Joseph Boley.

Despite its popularity, the song “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree” is not always featured on the set list of any given Guthrie performance.

The “Alice’s Restaurant” song was one of a few very long songs to become popular just when albums began replacing hit singles as young people’s main music listening. But in 1972 Guthrie had a highly successful single too, Steve Goodman’s song “City of New Orleans”, a wistful paean to long-distance passenger rail travel. Guthrie’s first trip on that train was in December 2005 (when his family joined other musicians on a train trip across the country to raise money for musicians financially devastated by Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita, in the South of the United States). He also had a minor hit with his song “Coming into Los Angeles”, which was played at the 1969 Woodstock Festival, and success with a live version of “The Motorcycle Song”.

In the fall of 1975 during a benefit concert in Massachusetts, Arlo Guthrie performed with his band Shenandoah in public for the first time. They continued to tour and record throughout the 1970s until the early 1990s. Although the band received good reviews, it never gained the popularity that Guthrie did while playing solo. This band is not to be confused with the popular country music group Shenandoah, an entirely different group that had musical hits from 1986 to 2006. Arlo Guthrie’s band Shenandoah consisted (after 1976) of David Grover, Steve Ide, Carol Ide, Terry A La Berry and Dan Velika.

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Guthrie’s 1976 album Amigo received a 5-star (highest rating) from Rolling Stone, and may be his best-received work. However, that album, like Guthrie’s earlier Warner Bros. Records albums, is rarely heard today even though each contains strong folk and folk rock music accompanied by widely regarded musicians such as Ry Cooder.

A number of musicians from a variety of genres have joined Guthrie onstage, including Pete Seeger, David Bromberg, Cyril Neville, Emmylou Harris, Willie Nelson, Judy Collins, John Prine, Wesley W Gray, Josh Ritter, and others.

Like his father, Woody Guthrie, Guthrie often sings songs of protest against social injustice. He collaborated with poet Adrian Mitchell to tell the story of Chilean folk singer and activist Víctor Jara in song. He regularly performed with folk musician Pete Seeger, one of his father’s longtime partners. Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, who had lived for two years in the Guthries’ home before Arlo left for boarding school, had absorbed Woody’s style perhaps better than anyone; Arlo has been said to have credited Elliott for passing it along to him.

In 1991, Guthrie bought the church that had served as Alice and Ray Brock’s former home in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and converted it to the Guthrie Center, an interfaith meeting place that serves people of all religions. The center provides weekly free lunches in the community and support for families living with HIV/AIDS as well as other life-threatening illnesses. It also hosts a summertime concert series and Guthrie does six or seven fund raising shows there every year. There are several annual events such as the Walk-A-Thon to Cure Huntington’s Disease and a “Thanksgiving Dinner That Can’t Be Beat” for families, friends, doctors and scientists who live and work with Huntington’s disease.

Discography

Main article: Arlo Guthrie discography

Alice’s Restaurant (1967)
Arlo (1968)
Running Down the Road (1969)
Alice’s Restaurant Soundtrack (1969)
Washington County (1970)
Hobo’s Lullaby (1972)
Last of the Brooklyn Cowboys (1973)
Arlo Guthrie (1974)
Together in Concert (1975), with Pete Seeger (2 record set), Warner/Reprise
Amigo (1976)
The Best of Arlo Guthrie (1977)
One Night (1978)
Outlasting the Blues (1979)
Power of Love (1981)
Precious Friend (1982), with Pete Seeger (2 record set), Warner/Reprise
Someday (1986)
All Over the World (1991)
Son of the Wind (1992)
2 Songs (1992)
More Together Again (1993), with Pete Seeger (2 record set)
Alice’s Restaurant: The Massacree Revisited (1996)
Mystic Journey (1996)
This Land Is Your Land: An All American Children’s Folk Classic (1997)
Till We Outnumber ‘Em (2000) – various artists, live program hosted by Arlo
Banjoman: a tribute to Derroll Adams (2002)
Live In Sydney (2005)
In Times Like These (2007)
32¢ Postage Due (2008)
Tales Of ’69 (2009)

Select filmography

Alice’s Restaurant (1969)
Renaldo and Clara (1978)
Baby’s Storytime (1989)
Roadside Prophets (1992)

Notable television guest appearances

Beat Club (episode # 1.52) February 28, 1970
Byrds of Paradise (1994)
Relativity December 29, 1996
Renegade in episode: “Top Ten with a Bullet” (episode # 5.14) January 24, 1997
Rich Man, Poor Man: Book 2 2 episodes, 1976
The fourth season of The Muppet Show.

Film and television composer

Alice’s Restaurant (1969) (song “The Alice’s Restaurant Massacree”)
Woodstock (1970) (song “Coming into Los Angeles” – the song heard on the officially released soundtrack recording was not played at the Woodstock festival. Rather, it is a recording of a previous live presentation.)
Clay Pigeon (1971) also known as Trip to Kill (UK)
Baby’s Storytime (1989)

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