That Ribbon of Highway: Woody Guthrie in the Pacific Northwest

That Ribbon of Highway: Woody Guthrie in the Pacific Northwest
USD $0.00
  • Duration: 120 Minutes
  • Location: Vancouver, WA

Event Location: Red Cross Building, 605 Barnes Street, Vancouver, WA 98660

Folksinger and activist Woody Guthrie composed 26 songs in 30 days while riding along the Columbia River and touring the Grand Coulee Dam Project in 1941. With his unique, authentic voice, he chronicled both the grandeur and the perils of what he called “The Greatest Thing That Man Has Ever Done” as an employee of the Bonneville Power Administration. His time here in the Pacific Northwest inspired a swell of patriotism that led Guthrie to enlist in the U.S. Merchant Marine in World War II, after which he returned home to fame and notoriety, but also to tragedy and tremendous personal loss.    

Historian, teacher, folksinger, and actor Joel Underwood performs an hour that is part concert, part theatrical drama, and part lecture. Sing along to “Roll on Columbia,” “Pastures of Plenty,” and of course, “This Land is Your Land,” and learn the—sometimes hilarious, sometimes tragic—stories behind the songs. 

Joel Underwood (he/him) is an actor, teacher, musician, and historian. After 25 years teaching high school history, Underwood got his master’s degree in American History with a focus on folk and protest music. A recipient of the Woody Guthrie Fellowship, Underwood was granted access to the Woody Guthrie Archives in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to research Woody’s time in the World War II Merchant Marines. Underwood continues to tour as a musician, both solo and with his daughter.

Underwood lives in Olympia.

Thank you to Humanities WA for their support in bringing this event to Vancouver. Special thanks to the NAACP Vancouver for joining us as our promotional partner for our 2024 series of speaker events. We appreciate you!