Woody's Voice Archive

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Welcome to Woody’s Voice, a partnership with the Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa and Righteous Babe Radio. Episodes are narrated by the Righteous Babe herself, Ani DiFranco, and curated by the Executive Director and Programs Manager of the Woody Guthrie Center as a way of sharing Woody’s perspective and his continued influence on arts and society.  



Woody's Voice Episode 26 - Woody Lives!

Woody Lives! As we celebrate our one year anniversary of sharing Woody’s Voice with you, we also reflect on a note that John Lennon wrote seven years after Woody journeyed to the other side. The note simply says “Woody lives, and I’m glad.” We believe that Woody’s voice and energy lives through all of us who speak truth to power. Woody lives, and we’re all glad. "Woody Lives!" was first aired on Righteous Babe Radio on 4/18/2021.

Woody's Voice Episode 25 - Riding In My Car

As we celebrate all the vaccinations going into the arms of our communities, we’re all feeling the call of the open road. Woody knew the freedom that we all feel when we take a road trip, and we invite you all to ride along with us. Let’s go riding in the car, car!  We hope you sing along!  “Riding In My Car” was first aired on Righteous Babe Radio on 4/04/2021.


Woody's Voice Episode 24 - Little Seed

As spring approaches, we feel the approaching rebirth—of nature, of society, and the world as a whole. Woody knew the importance of planting seeds that grow into beautiful works. We hope you’re planting little seeds of hope and love on your journey, watering them with empathy, and are ready to watch your peace garden grow.  Breathe in the change and don’t wait to share your love. Plant deep roots, nurture the beauty that grows from unexpected places, and heal the earth with new growth. It all starts with little seeds.  “Little Seeds” was first aired on Righteous Babe Radio on 3/21/2021.


Woody's Voice Episode 23 - Here Comes the Light, Part 2

When times seem dark and our journeys are difficult, we join together to find the light…in our hearts and in our world. Here comes the light…Part 2.  The light allows us to see the changes that we have allowed to happen by degrees, and it illuminates the path to a brighter future. Snap out of it, and step back into the light, friends.  Righteous Babe Radio and the Woody Guthrie Center join our voices with Woody’s with yours as we encourage everyone to be a light to those around you. Our collective voices are stronger than any darkness and can overcome any difficult time. Shine brightly, good people.  “Here Comes the Light Part 2” was first aired on Righteous Babe Radio on 3/07/2021.


Woody's Voice Episode 22 - Here Comes the Light, Part 1

The theme of this week’s show is Here Comes the Light. As we were creating this playlist, we found so many amazing songs around this theme about emerging from the darkness into the light that we needed two episodes, so welcome to Part One.  As we consider the concept of light, we are reminded of Nora Guthrie’s wise words: “Ever since the beginning there's always been the guys, designated to carry the coal.  Remember? See, when the tribe's fire went out, when they moved on, someone had to carry the last hot coal to start up the next fire with at the next campsite. They needed this fire to cook with, sleep near, and even for some good ol' talks and songs. Now, many of these coal holders, over time, became folk singers. Later, some went electric. Some even became rock and rollers. (Hey, different tribes, different instruments.) However, the job has never changed.  My dad was one of these guys, and a lot of his songs were pretty damned hot.”  “Here Comes the Light Part 1” was first aired on Righteous Babe Radio on 2/21/2021.


Woody's Voice Episode 21 - Freedom

As we celebrate our freedom, we know that it comes with responsibility to ensure that freedom is extended equally to everyone in our society. We join our voices with Woody’s and yours in the fight for true freedom and equality on this land. We all live on this land together, and Woody’s Voice continues to encourage us to share what we have and care for one another in the fight for equality. Use your voices to speak truth to power and create change. Only then will we have true freedom.   Keep loving yourselves and recognize that as collective agents of change, we are strong, we are unbroken, and we are one. “Freedom” was first aired on Righteous Babe Radio on 2/07/2021.


Woody's Voice Episode 20 - New Beginnings

As we close one chapter in our history, we have the opportunity for a new beginning. We join together with you in hopes that we take this opportunity to unite our voices with Woody’s and other fascist fighters as we reset our actions and ideals.  We hope that the renewed clarity of vision allows us all to work together for equality to create a new and better world as we rise into the light of justice.  We’re on this new journey for a more peaceful and equitable world together, good people. You are not alone. We are one.  “New Beginnings” was first aired on Righteous Babe Radio on 1/24/2021.


Woody's Voice Episode 19 - Changes 

As we move into a new year and think of the world returning to normal, we challenge you to consider whether what we were as a world before the pandemic was truly normal. As we’ve spent the past months in reflection, we hope that the illumination of our societal issues will result in changes for a more equitable, empathetic world—a true normal for us all as compassionate, engaged humans. There’s a better world coming, friends. “Changes” was first aired on Righteous Babe Radio on 1/10/2021.


Woody's Voice Episode 18 - Be Like the Kids

Whether it’s the simplicity of play or the empathy and acceptance that children have, we should follow Woody’s advice and do like the kids do.  In the liner notes for Songs to Grow on for Mother and Child, Woody wrote, "Watch the kids. Do like they do. Act like they act. Yell like they yell. Dance the ways you see them dance. Sing like they sing. Work and rest the way the kids do.  You'll be healthier. You'll feel wealthier. You'll talk wiser. You'll go higher, do better, and live longer here amongst us if you'll just only jump in here and swim around in these songs and do like the kids do. I don't want the kids to be grownup. I want to see the grown folks be kids." No matter your age, we hope you find the joy and light of childhood memories and laughter to help you through difficult times. Dance like the kids! “Be Like the Kids” was first aired on Righteous Babe Radio on 12/20/2020.


Woody's Voice Episode 17 - Persist

Woody was always a fighter, and he persisted in his resolve for a more equitable society. We invite you to join us as we persist in our hope for a better tomorrow.  As you persist, you are not alone. We stand with you with Truth as our guide.  We bring the love to the battle, and love persists.  Our most valuable national treasure is the strength, creativity, and determination of our workers, and we encourage all of our workers to persist during these troubled times. A change is gonna come.  “Persist” was first aired on Righteous Babe Radio on 12/06/2020.


Woody's Voice Episode 16 - Get Together

The theme of this episode is “Get Together.” During these times when we feel conflict and division, we have hope: hope that we will come together, work together, and be united in our efforts.   Listen and sing along as we raise our collective voices up in hope. The Woody Guthrie Center and Righteous Babe Radio know that, during this difficult time when we must maintain our distance for the good of the many, including many of our parents and grandparents, better days are coming. We’re all getting through this together, even when we must stay physically apart.  Thank for wearing your masks, washing your hands, and maintaining proper health protocols.  “Get Together” first aired on Righteous Babe Radio on 11/15/2020.


Woody's Voice Episode 15 - Power to the People

We have the power, and we encourage you to take that power to the voting booth. Remember those whose names are written in history and use your power to stand up for justice.  Woody knew the importance of naming names, and the labeling of these Braceros workers as “just deportees” in news reports was distressing for him. As we reflect on the names of victims of violence and hatred, we know that we have the power to create change so that lists like this are no longer necessary. Say their names as you vote. The power is yours—take it easy, but take it.  “Power to the People” first aired on Righteous Babe Radio on 11/01/2020.


Woody's Voice Episode 14 - Ain't Dead Yet

The theme of this episode is “Ain’t Dead Yet.” Woody wrote those words often, and we firmly believe that, through the voices of those who continue his work and with our votes, Woody remains with us.   As we walk on this world, we keep Woody and so many freedom fighters alive as we keep on planting seeds along our way.  As we think about all of the heartaches that we see in our world today, we know we can change the direction to become a more enlightened, respectful, and equitable society.  We encourage everyone to find the power of your voices to make change; we can all leave the world better than we found it. “Ain’t Dead Yet" first aired on Righteous Babe Radio on 10/18/2020.


Woody's Voice Episode 13 - Wake Up and Fight

The theme of this episode is Wake Up and Fight. In his “New Year’s Rulins” for 1943, Woody included this as one of his goals for the year. We encourage you to follow Woody’s example and fight against fascism with your vote.  As we look at those who came before us and the work they did, we honor their memories and the risks they took by continuing their fight. Be the machine as you vote to fight the forces of fascism.  “Wake Up and Fight” first aired on Righteous Babe Radio on 10/04/2020.


Woody's Voice Episode 12 - Move Me

Woody was fascinated by movement, whether it was moving down the road or a river, the grace of dance seen through his wife Marjorie, or the way that love moves us.  On September 18, 1967 Marjorie Guthrie founded the Committee to Combat Huntington’s Disease, which is now known as the Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA). As we celebrate all that Marjorie and Woody did in their lifetimes, we encourage you to visit and donate to our sister organization leading the research to fight the dreadful disease that took Woody from this earth at far too young of an age. Woody was fascinated by the grace of dance and movement, and the things that he wrote about Marjorie’s grace as a dancer are some of his most endearing and beautiful items in his archive of work. Remember to move in a way that helps those around you and works for the collective good; dance your way to the voting booth every year and move the country in a positive direction.  “Move Me” first aired on Righteous Babe Radio on 9/20/2020.


Woody's Voice Episode 11 - Folk the Vote

During this episode, we’ll be focusing on the call to action for all of us to Folk the Vote and gather our collective voices for positive change. As we look at change and reasons to vote, we should keep the voices of all people in our minds and vote for the good of the many as we fight for justice and equality for all.  While music has been used for generations by politicians to energize their audiences, artists have the final word in speaking back to those who abuse power. Woody said “I’m an educator, not an entertainer,” and these artists continue educating us about issues and truths. This episode features Ani’s adaptation of “Which Side Are You On.”  “Folk the Vote” first aired on Righteous Babe Radio on 9/06/2020.


Woody's Voice Episode 10 - Resist

Woody stood up in resistance against those seeking to dehumanize and disenfranchise marginalized groups. We proudly follow his lead in the resistance of those efforts and join our voices with the artists in today’s show.  We cannot wait, and we invite you all to join your collective voices in resistance for a peaceful revolution by voting.  Our peaceful resistance will allow us to vote and put the best people in office who will work for the common good rather than those whose goals are to benefit corporate greed.  Be the machines of resistance in this peaceful revolution—vote! “Resist” first aired on Righteous Babe Radio on 8/23/2020.


Woody's Voice Episode 9 - Family

“Family” means many different things to us all, and whether it’s the family into which you’re born or the family you choose or simply the family of humankind, our support systems are vital to encourage us to be who we are and know we are accepted and loved.   Family first aired on Righteous Babe Radio on 08/09/2020.


Woody's Voice Episode 8 - Solidarity

Solidarity is about valuing our fellow human beings, respecting who they are as individuals, and working together for a better tomorrow. Woody and Pete knew the power of people joining hands, marching together, and harmonizing for the good of all. The message from the past is a call to action to organize, stand up for the disenfranchised, and be the machines for change. As we consider the need for a peaceful revolution, remember the best place to start is in the voting booth. By joining together to speak for solidarity, human rights, and hope, we create a better world for everyone. When times become heavy and we start to lose faith, our solidarity as we walk together for the good of the many rather than the profit of the few will get us through the difficult times. Solidarity forever.  “Solidarity” first aired on Righteous Babe Radio on 07/26/2020.


Woody's Voice Episode 7 - Faith

Whether it’s faith in a higher power, in the universe, or in humanity, faith is a source of strength to us all, especially when times are hard, or struggles seem overwhelming. Woody believed in the power of faith and the work that makes that faith reality. As we look to heal our world, always keep the faith that change is possible and keep the goal of a better world for all in sight.  “Faith” first aired on Righteous Babe Radio on 07/12/2020.


Woody's Voice Episode 6 - This Machine

During this episode, we’ll be focusing on Woody’s message around “This Machine.”  Several of the songs in this program are from local Tulsa hip-hop artists and their album “(IN) Visible Man.”  These talented musicians are the heart of a recording project that will commemorate the centennial of the Tulsa race massacre. The Fire in Little Africa project is one that the Woody Guthrie Center is proud to support, and we look forward to the release of the recording in 2021.  We all know that Woody’s guitar was his machine to fight against fascism, and Pete’s banjo was a machine that surrounded hate and forced it to surrender. As we face injustice and oppression, we encourage you to be the machine to stand up for equality.  We change the world and make it better by educating ourselves, making choices, and voting, so we encourage you to be machines for change by using your voices to vote this year.  “This Machine” first aired on Righteous Babe Radio on 06/28/2020.


Woody's Voice Episode 5 - Love

Woody was a romantic and had a lot to say about the concept of Love. This episode shares those words from Woody as well as other artists who know that the best weapon against hate and oppression is love. In these troubled times, love is the answer. Love is the guiding force for us as we look to make positive changes in our world, and the best way of doing that this year is to use your voices to vote. As we join together to Folk the Vote, we hope that everyone will use their voices to vote with their hearts and guide the soul of our nation to a positive place.  “Love” first aired on Righteous Babe Radio on 06/14/2020.


Woody's Voice Episode 4 - Justice

We’ll be focusing on the concept of Justice as we explore human rights and mass incarceration. Woody had a great deal to say about Justice, and this episode shares those words through his voice as well as the voices of other artists who take a stand for human dignity and empathy.   Change is possible, and as we shine a light on the need for prison reform, our vote is our voice to make those changes. Make sure you’re registered to vote so that your voice is heard.  “Justice” first aired on Righteous Babe Radio on 05/31/2020.


Woody's Voice Episode 3 - Home : Journey

We’ll be walking along with Woody as he and other artists share their thoughts about Home and Life’s Journey. As we consider the theme of Home, we want to recognize our country’s indigenous nations. As guests on this land, we always strive to show respect for their hospitality and honor for their history.  In this episode, we hear Ani Di Franco, Ryan Harvey, and Tom Morello perform a song called “Old Man Trump.” featuring lyrics Woody wrote about his experiences in 1950 witnessing racist landlord Fred Trump segregate his Beach Haven apartment complex where Woody lived a short time, in Brooklyn, NY.  “Home / Journey” first aired on Righteous Babe Radio on 05/24/2020.


Woody's Voice Episode 2 - Peace : Work Together

We invite you to travel Woody’s Road along with us as we explore the theme of Peace with Woody. And, of course, we hope you’re using your voices and singing along as we put that message into the universe.  We make peaceful changes in our world by working together, and this year, by using our voices when we vote.  “Peace / Work Together” first aired on Righteous Babe Radio on 05/12/2020.


Woody's Voice Episode 1 - Struggle and Overcoming Together

We all know that we’ve been working together to protect the most vulnerable members of our society, so this first segment of “Woody’s Voice” is about struggle and overcoming adversity together. Woody’s voice is alive in all of our voices, especially when we all work together to take care of each other.  “Struggle and Overcoming Together” first aired on Righteous Babe Radio on 04/26/2020.