A small crowd gathered inside the old Harris Drugs this past weekend to play a little music in tribute to Woody Guthrie, a folk singer who spent a few years here in our little town and worked at Harris Drug.
Legend says that it was while working here, he found a guitar in the back room and began writing and playing music.
About fifteen chairs formed a circle in this old building and musicians ranging in ages from 12 to 72 played music. Pardon me while I describe the instruments, as I am far from knowledgeable. Some had guitars, electrical and acoustical, there was a steel guitar type instrument laying over a man’s lap, a mandolin, and a few harmonica players. A girl had a bag of tricks for percussion including a shaking thing that rattled and a stick that ran up and down a ridged board. Looked like something off of Hee Haw, an oldy but goody. Sometimes, she just clapped along with the music, picking up the rhythm and adding her unique clap. They passed a microphone around to anyone who wanted to say a few words about Woody’s music or sing. Some were good, and some were….eh, well you know. Simon Cowell would not have been pleased. It was a neat experience to watch these musicians who would ask what key or “gear” to play in and they could all just pick up the songs, even if they’d never heard them before. They would watch the lead guy who started the set until they could just find the music and play. Woody wrote about the dust bowl days with songs like “Dust Bowl Blues”. Some of his other titles are “Do-Re-Mi”, “Pretty Boy Floyd”, and “This Land is Your Land”.Here’s a picture of our main street circa 1930’s. A far cry from what it looks like today.
Times were tough then, and we think we have it bad. Watch this video and have a listen:
So long, it’s been good to know you.