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Tributes, events for Guthrie's 100th

July 8, 2012 at 11:34 AM

NEWARK, N.J., July 8 (UPI) -- Musician Bruce Springsteen said Woody Guthrie "acted as an agent for social and political protest" in honor of the folksinger's 100th birthday in Austin, Texas.

Springsteen gave the keynote address at this year's South By Southwest conference, speaking of Guthrie's influence on American music.

"Woody's world," said Springsteen, "was one where fatalism was tempered by practical idealism; where speaking truth to power wasn't futile, whatever its outcome."

"This was a guy who felt that music had a very clear purpose. Sure, it was about entertainment, but it acted as an agent for social and political protest, too."

July 14 marks what would have been Guthrie's 100th birthday -- he died in 1967 of Huntington's Disease. His daughter, Nora Guthrie, said tributes and events celebrating his life and music have been lined up throughout the year, The (Newark, N.J.) Star-Ledger reported Sunday.

"I get to see Woody through so many different eyes. We did shows in Tampa and Salinas, and now we're coming to the East Coast, and everywhere we go, Woody means something different to the people there. At the gala concert in Los Angeles, I got to discover who Woody Guthrie is to Jackson Browne and Crosby & Nash. I'm looking forward to discovering who Woody is to Steve Earle," she said.

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