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Archive: July 2020 (3 Posts)

A man playing a guitar and singing to a close crowd of a dozen or so men and women

Homegrown Plus: Cora Harvey Armstrong

Posted by: Stephen Winick

In the Homegrown Plus series, we present Homegrown concerts that also had accompanying oral history interviews, placing both together in an easy-to-find blog post. (Find the whole series here!) We’re continuing the series with Cora Harvey Armstrong, a gospel singer, piano player, songwriter, choir director, and bandleader born and raised in King and Queen County, Virginia. The Richmond-born …

A man playing a guitar and singing to a close crowd of a dozen or so men and women

Homegrown Plus: Nakotah LaRance, 1989-2020

Posted by: Stephen Winick

Normally, the Homegrown Plus series is a way to bring together the videos of Homegrown concerts with other information about the artists, including oral history interviews.  This time, however, we have a more solemn duty: to celebrate the life and legacy of Nakotah LaRance, an outstanding Native American hoop dancer from Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo, New …

A man playing a guitar and singing to a close crowd of a dozen or so men and women

Arlo Guthrie Birth Announcement by Woody Guthrie Featured at No Depression

Posted by: Stephen Winick

As our readers may remember, we've been working with No Depression, The Journal of Roots Music, which is published by the nonprofit Freshgrass Foundation. They're publishing a column called Roots in the Archive, featuring content from the American Folklife Center and Folklife Today. The latest Roots in the Archive column is about the Arlo Guthrie birth announcement, a fantastic manuscript item from the Alan Lomax Collection. The Arlo Guthrie birth announcement is a handwritten, illustrated letter created by Woody Guthrie to announce the birth of his son Arlo. It was sent by Woody to his friend Alan Lomax in 1947. Typed and embellished with finger-painted lettering, the announcement is in the form of a handmade greeting card, a single sheet folded in half to form a front and back cover and a center spread. The front consists of stylized line art representing a mother and baby, a greeting to the Lomax family, and the name "Arlo Guthrie," painted in several different styles and colors. The back consists of the words "Here I Am" in large painted letters. Both sides bear the date, and the name "Arlo Guthrie" written in Woody’s handwriting. Read more about it at the link! The column also features the whimsical text of the birth announcement, which is written in the voice of baby Arlo, and my own thoughts on this one-of-a-kind manuscript. Of course, the American Folklife Center also has many more resources related to Woody Guthrie, and you can find out more about those in the column too.