OKEMAH, Okla. (September 14, 2013)--When the boyhood home of folksinger Woody Guthrie was ordered torn down in the 1970s, the decision reflected the strained relationship between conservative Oklahoma and the native son famous for his progressive politics.
Those tensions persisted for more than a generation, but now developers plan to rebuild Guthrie's 1860s-era home in Okemah, Okla., about 60 miles south of Tulsa.
Johnny Buschardt, a spokesman for the project, said without Guthrie, there wouldn't be a Bob Dylan or a Bruce Springsteen.
Best known for the song "This Land is Your Land," Guthrie came of age during the Depression and later embraced left-wing politics, including for a time some tenets of communism.
By weaving social issues into his music, he re-imagined folk songs as platforms for protest.