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C. F. Martin Honors American Folk Legend WOODY GUTHRIE with 000-18WG Commemorative Guitar

Release Date: 07/23/99
Source: Sounding Board Newsletter Vol 7 - July 1999
000-18WG (Woody Guthrie)

Woodrow "Woody" Wilson Guthrie is considered one of the most influential folk musicians of all time. Immortalized as an American legend, and inducted posthumously into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, Guthrie wrote such classics as "This Land is Your Land," "I Ain’t Got No Home," and "Pretty Boy Floyd." Born in Oklahoma in 1912, Guthrie’s music and controversial politics were influenced by his own experiences as a migrant farm worker. His songs reflect his concern about class conflict, union issues and the American West. Guthrie impacted some of this country’s greatest songwriters including Pete Seeger, Leadbelly, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and others. Guthrie died of Huntington’s Disease in 1967.

In honor of Guthrie’s legacy, his individuality, spirit and lasting impact on the American music scene, Martin is honored to unveil the 000-18WG Woody Guthrie commemorative guitar. Woody is not the first Guthrie to be honored with a Martin edition. In 1997, Martin honored Arlo Guthrie with a limited edition guitar which commemorated the 30th anniversary of his famous song, Alice’s Restaurant. Of the 60 instruments that were offered (30 six-string and 30 twelve-string models), all sold out within days of their introduction. Toward the end of that project, Arlo visited the Martin factory with an old Martin guitar that Woody had given him as a child. The instrument was in rough condition and in the process of getting the guitar back into shape, discussions about the potential for a Woody Guthrie commemorative model began.

Woody had owned literally hundreds of guitars throughout his career, many of them Martins. He gravitated toward more affordable smaller bodied 0, 00, and 000 mahogany guitars, and he would often give his instruments away to aspiring musicians along the way. Irreverently, he often wrote or drew on his instruments. Perhaps one of his more famous statements is: "This Machine Kills Fascists!", a quote which Woody painted on most of the guitars he owned.

The 000-18WG Woody Guthrie Commemorative is a 14-fret 000 "auditorium" model inspired by the smaller bodied guitars of the pre-World War II era, Vintage 000-18s are especially prized for their lightness, brilliance, and purity of tone. The back and sides are bookmatched from select solid straight"grained genuine mahogany. The rosette is inlaid in the vintage style with plain black inner and outer rings. The solid genuine mahogany neck is slightly V-shaped with a squared and tapered headstock bearing the old style Martin decal logo. Tuning gears are the vintage open gear variety with chrome butterbean knobs.

The fingerboard is genuine ebony, inlaid with abalone dots in the vintage style. The bridge, also of genuine ebony, is fitted with a long "through" saddle. Woody Guthrie’s stylized signature is inlaid in pearl between the 19th and 20th frets.

Each interior edition label will be personally co-signed by Arlo Guthrie, Woody’s daughter Nora Guthrie who manages the Woody Guthrie Archives, Woody’s former manager Harold Levinthal who manages Woody Guthrie Publications, and C.F. Martin, IV. Each instrument will be numbered in sequence without total. A secondary label bears a self-portrait sketch of Woody and his guitar with the artist’s memorable words, "This world is your world. Take it easy, but take it!" Inconspicuously located on the underside of the soundboard is a third label with Woody’s words, "This machine kills fascists!"

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of each 000-18WG Woody Guthrie guitar will be split between The Guthrie Center and The Woody Guthrie Foundation.

Martin dealers will begin to take orders for the 000-18WG Woody Guthrie Commemorative Guitar immediately, though the actual edition will not begin to appear in stores until the early months of 2000.

The Immortal Words Of Woody Guthrie

"I hate a song that makes you think that you are not any good. I hate a song that makes you think that you are just born to lose. Bound to lose. No good to nobody. No good for nothing. Because you are too old or too young or too fat or too slim or too ugly or too this or too that. Songs that run you down or poke fun at you on account of your bad luck or hard traveling. I am out to fight those songs to my very last breath of air and my last drop of blood. I am out to sing songs that will prove to you that this is your world and that if it has hit you pretty hard and knocked you for a dozen loops, no matter what color, what size you are, how you are built, I am out to sing the songs that make you take pride in yourself and in your work. And the songs that I sing are made up for the most part by all sorts of folks just about like you. I could hire out to the other side, the big money side, and get several dollars every week just to quit singing my own kind of songs and to sing the kind that knock you down still farther and the ones that poke fun at you even more and the ones that make you think you’ve not any sense at all. But I decided a long time ago that I’d starve to death before I’d sing any such songs as that. The radio waves and your movies and your jukeboxes and your songbooks are already loaded down and running over with such no good songs as that anyhow.

Woody Guthrie

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The Woody Guthrie Foundation
250 West 57th Street, Suite 1218
New York, NY 10107
(212) 541-6230

The mission of the Woody Guthrie Foundation is to preserve and perpetuate the legacy of folk musician Woody Guthrie. As guardians for the largest collection of Woody Guthrie material in the world, the Woody Guthrie Foundation achieves this goal by caring for, maintaining, and sharing the Woody Guthrie Archives with the public.

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The Autry Museum Of Western Heritage
4700 Western Heritage Way
Los Angeles, CA 90027-1462

This Land Is Your Land: The Life & Legacy Of Woody Guthrie, June 26th-September 26, 1999

The exhibit has been organized by The Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service and The Woody Guthrie Archives in association with The Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. The exhibition has been made possible through the generous support of Nissan North America. Additional support has been provided by the Smithsonian Institution Educational Outreach Fund and The Martin Guitar Company.

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The Guthrie Center
4 Van Deusenville Road
Great Barrington, MA 01230
(413) 528-1955

The Guthrie Center was founded in 1991 by Arlo Guthrie providing a place to bring together individuals for spiritual service, as well as cultural and educational exchange. The Guthrie Center is located in the old Trinity Church of Alice’s Restaurant fame. Persons of all faiths and backgrounds are welcome at The Guthrie Center to share their lives while cultivating a deeper awareness of the humanity and environment we all have in common.

The Guthrie Center is funded to a large extent by individual donations. Programs are coordinated by volunteers and have included cooking, art, and music programs for children, support and instruction to anyone living with AIDS/HIV, blood pressure clinics and meetings of the La Leche League. Center volunteers have visited local nursing homes and provide transportation services to those in need. Plans are underway for a Cyber Center to introduce children to the Internet and to foster understanding with other children throughout the world via video conferencing.

You can support The Guthrie Center by becoming a member and/or volunteering your services. For additional information, contact the center by calling (413) 528-1955, or visit our website at:
If you happen to be driving by, stop in and say hello.
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