A Symphonic Celebration for Woody Guthrie's Centennial

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All this week the country has been celebrating American icon Woody Guthrie’s 100th birthday, which is Saturday.

A son of the Dust Bowl, Guthrie’s mark on American music is indelible. His folk songs championed the poor and had an unapologetic leftist. As his son Arlo often jokes, he was a “man who spent almost his entire life against being respectable."

Guthrie penned some of the country’s most enduring folk and children's tunes, including “The Grand Coulee Dam,” "Riding in My Car (Car Song)," “Do Re Mi,” “Pastures of Plenty” and, of course, “This Land Is Your Land.”

While most people think of the stripped-down, guitar-and-harmonica versions of Guthrie’s songs, in this video, Arlo Guthrie joins the Boston Pops to perform “This Land Is Your Land.”

In the video below, The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Band of the United States Air Force Reserve perform a spirited “This Land is Your Land.”

And this coming September, the Colorado Symphony Orchestra will record David Amram’s Symphonic Variations of a Song By Woody Guthrie, commissioned by the Woody Guthrie Publications. Hear a snipet performed by the Pioneer Valley Symphony Orchestra of Greenfield, Mass., with Paul Phillips conducting.