In recognition of his work in continuing Woody Guthrie’s legacy, Bruce Springsteen will receive the 2021 Woody Guthrie Prize, given out by the Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa, in a virtual event for Woody Guthrie Center members, May 13. For more information on becoming a member, visit woodyguthriecenter.org.
“I’m honored to receive the 2021 Woody Guthrie Prize,” Springsteen said in a press release. “Woody wrote some of the greatest songs about America’s struggle to live up its ideals in convincing fashion. He is one of my most important influences and inspirations.”
“As an observer of the human condition and a reporter about the plight of common people, Bruce Springsteen is a true child of Woody Guthrie,” said Woody Guthrie Center director Deana McCloud in the press release. “He continues Woody’s work by writing about our struggles in this land of hope and dreams, and provided one of our favorite performances of ‘This Land is Your Land’ with Pete Seeger at the first Obama inauguration. The Woody Guthrie Center is proud to present Bruce with this well-deserved recognition for his lifetime of speaking for the disenfranchised and inspiring generations to find the power of their own voices.”
Past recipients of the award include Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Chuck D, Kris Kristofferson, Mavis Staples, John Mellencamp and Norman Lear.
Also, Nora Guthrie — Woody Guthrie’s daughter and a co-founder of the Woody Guthrie Center — will be interviewed by journalist and educator Bob Santelli in a virtual program presented by the Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, May 11 at 10 a.m. Visit springsteenarchives.org or facebook.com/brucespringsteenarchives. (MAY 11 UPDATE: The interview is now available and embedded below.)
“For an American songwriter, I can’t think of a better honor than to receive the Woody Guthrie Prize,” said Santelli. “Clearly, Bruce Springsteen is from the same songwriting lineage that begins with Woody, runs through Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, and Phil Ochs, and includes just about every other writer that saw a song as an inspiration for change in America.”
Click here to listen to 12 Springsteen covers of Woody Guthrie songs.
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