Biography of Modern Music Composer Woody Guthrie Part 2

About the famous country musician and composer Woody Guthrie, his history and biography.

Woody Guthrie (1912-1967)

Four of the houses Woody lived in until his teen-age years were destroyed--3 by fire. In one of the fires, his sister Clara was badly burned and died. The causes of these fires were never quite clear. Certainly the oil stoves of the time and place were dangerous. But apparently Woody felt there was the possibility that Clara might have set herself on fire or that his mother might have started the fires. At any rate, after the last fire, which occurred when he was 13, Woody's mother was sent to an insane asylum and his father moved to Pampa, Tex., where Woody's aunt treated her brother's burns and cared for him. Woody stayed with a couple of families in Okemah during this time and also began his travels on the road.

When he was 17, Woody joined his father in Pampa. During these years he tried out various possibilities. He did not know quite what he wanted to be, thinking of becoming a lawyer one day and a doctor the next.

Things was starting to stack up in my head and I just felt like I was going out of my wits if I didn't find some way of saying what I was thinking. The world didn't mean any more than a smear to me if I couldn't find ways of putting it down on something.

Woody begain painting and drawing. He paid his way during much of his travels by making signs. At the same time. He was learning to play the guitar, and he earned some money playing for local square dances.

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