Oklahomans seem to be of two minds about Woody Guthrie.
They either like him, or they never heard of him.
Responding to a recent SoonerPoll.com survey, 52 percent of the 500 Oklahomans questioned said they have a favorable opinion of the Depression Era troubadour – but 41 percent had no opinion or didn’t know who Guthrie was.
Stanton Doyle, a senior program officer with the George Kaiser Family Foundation, which is developing a Guthrie museum and archive in the Brady Arts District, said the first figure is “consistent with the feedback we get,” and the second is “a great opportunity” to introduce Guthrie to a new audience.
Born in 1912 in Okemah, Guthrie became an itinerant laborer and folk singer whose songs about the poor and working class made him a hero to many, while his unorthodox lifestyle and leftist politics turned many Oklahomans against him.
For decades, Okemah refused to acknowledge Guthrie, and he was not inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame until 2006.
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