His music, including songs such as " This Land Is Your Land ", has inspired several generations both politically and musically. Guthrie wrote hundreds of country, folk, and children's songs, along with ballads and improvised works. He frequently performed with the slogan " This machine kills fascists " displayed on his guitar. Guthrie was brought up by middle-class parents in Okemah, Oklahoma ,  until he was 14, when his mother Nora was hospitalized as a consequence of Huntington's disease , a fatal hereditary neurological disorder. His father moved to Pampa, Texas , to repay debts from unsuccessful real estate deals.
Who Was Woody Guthrie?
His autobiography, Bound for Glory , was filmed in His son Arlo also achieved success as a musician. The future folk hero was born just weeks after Woodrow Wilson was nominated as the Democratic candidate for president in ; as his namesake later told a crowd of concertgoers, "My father was a hard, fist-fighting Woodrow Wilson Democrat, so Woodrow Wilson was my name. Both parents were musically inclined and taught young Woody a wide array of folk tunes, songs that he soon learned to play on his guitar and harmonica. Tragedy and personal loss visited the budding musician early and often throughout his childhood, providing a bleak context for his future songs and supplying him with a wry perspective on life. In short order, Guthrie experienced the accidental death of his older sister Clara, a fire that destroyed the family home, his father's financial ruin, and the institutionalization of his mother, who was suffering from Huntington's disease.
Woody Guthrie. March That side was made for you and me. In the squares of the city, in the shadow of a steeple, By the relief office, I'd seen my people. As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking, Is this land made for you and me? Despite his decline, he had a major impact on American popular music in the second half of the 20th century and the rise of the folk movement, influencing such artists as Joan Baez, Johnny Cash, Bruce Springsteen, the Byrds, and Bob Dylan for whom Guthrie was a mentor. In the introduction to episode two Woody Guthrie sings "The Great Dust Storm" as historians and survivors talk about the conditions of living in the Dust Bowl during the Depression.
Guthrie, the third of five children, was the son of a onetime cowboy, land speculator, and local Democratic politician who named him after Pres. Woodrow Wilson. His mother, who introduced her children to a wide variety of music, was thought to be mentally ill and was institutionalized when Guthrie was a teenager. Her erratic behaviour was actually caused by Huntington disease , a hereditary neurological disorder about which little was known at the time and which would later afflict Guthrie too. The family lived near the relocated Creek nation in Okemah, Oklahoma, a small agricultural and railroad town that boomed in the s when oil was discovered in the area. Guthrie paid particular attention to this period of his life in his autobiographical novel Bound for Glory .