Roundup: February 8, 2017
Almansor Court – 700 S. Almansor, Alhambra, CA.
Social Hour: 5:00 PM
Dinner: 6:00 PM
Our Speaker: Darryl Holter
His Subject: This Land is Your Land: Woody Guthrie in Los Angeles, 1937-1941
Woody Guthrie was, and still is, one of the most beloved of all American singers and songwriters. Guthrie’s very productive years in Los Angeles at the end of the Great Depression forever changed his music, his politics, and greatly expanded his audience. Guthrie performed his own songs on his popular, KFVD Los Angeles, live radio show. They made him first a local, then a national, celebrity. With his lyrics about unemployment, homelessness, and inequality, Guthrie became the voice of thousands of migrant families who had fled the Dust Bowl in search of a new life in California. His songs also inspired political activists, intellectuals, and writers like John Steinbeck. Woody Guthrie, by common assent, was the most important precursor to the American folk music revival of the late 1940s and early 1950s. His powerful cultural legacy continues to grow in our own, 21st, century. Our February, 2017, Los Angeles Corral roundup will be a special treat, for our guest speaker will also be a guest singer, entertaining us with a selection of Woody Guthrie songs, accompanying himself on guitar. Don’t Miss It! We’ll See You There!
Darryl Holter is a business leader, historian, musician, and recognized authority on Woody Guthrie. He has a Ph.D in history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and has taught at the University of Wisconsin and at UCLA. Dr. Holter has written several books, two dozen scholarly articles, and has put out his own selections of historic Woody Guthrie songs as CDs/DVDs. Radio Songs is his fourth album. He is also the CEO of the Shammas Group, a family-owned group of automobile dealerships and commercial property in Downtown LA with nearly a thousand employees. He founded the Figueroa Corridor Business Improvement District in 1998 and served as its Chairman for fourteen years. But Darryl’s true passion is blending music with history, and no better nor more creative icon to focus both disciplines upon exists than Woody Guthrie. Dr. Holter is the first historian to explore, in depth, the legendary folk singer’s time in Los Angeles. His February, 2017, presentation will review Guthrie’s observations on the local scene from 80 years ago: his satires on local politics, the wealthy, and the future of Los Angeles.
Brian Dervin Dillon, Ph.D.