We are excited to host a pre-publication party and book signing with Darryl Holter and Bill Deverell for their new book, Woody Guthrie in L.A.: 1937-1941. Darryl and Bill will be here on Thursday, December 17th, at 7:00pm, to discuss the book and Darryl will also be performing some Woody Guthrie songs for your listening pleasure!
Woody Guthrie in L.A.: 1937 to 1941, edited by historians Darryl Holter and William Deverell, argues that the famed folksinger’s brief residence in Los Angeles in the later years of the Great Depression forever changed his music, his politics, and his legacy. Those changes became the basis of his incredible influence on the world’s music.
The book’s twelve essays, richly illustrated by photographs from the era, explore such themes as Guthrie’s early radio success in Los Angeles, his first recordings made on old Presto disks, and the important friendship he forged with the actor and leftist radical Will Geer. Other pieces cover Guthrie’s racial egalitarianism, as he threw off the worst of his Oklahoma and Texas roots and pushed past a notorious lynching in which his father may have participated, and the impact he still exerts in his songs about migrants and workers looking for the main chance in California. You can read more about Woody Guthrie in L.A. here.
Darryl Holter is the author of Workers and Unions in Wisconsin: A Labor History and The Battle for Coal: Miners andthe Nationalization of CoalMining in France. He is a musician and singer-songwriter, a former labor leader, an urban developer, an adjunct professor of history at USC, and a member of the Professional Musicians Union Local 47 in Los Angeles. He is also the co-owner of Chevalier’s.
William Deverell is professor of history and director of the Huntington USC Institute on California and the West at the University of Southern California. He is the author of numerous studies of the nineteenth and twentieth century American West, including Whitewashed Adobe: The Rise of Los Angeles and the Remaking of Its Mexican Past.