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Woody Guthrie Trivia

Woody Guthrie Trivia Quizzes

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5 Woody Guthrie quizzes and 50 Woody Guthrie trivia questions.
  The Master Storyteller - Woody Guthrie   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
"Woody" Guthrie wrote and sang songs of America as he saw it and lived it. He was as much historian as he was songwriter/performer. Let's talk about a few of his numbers.
Average, 10 Qns, habitsowner, Jun 12 12
5324 plays
  The Tragic Life of Woody Guthrie   best quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
This quiz delves into the life of the famous folk singer and rambler Woody Guthrie.
Average, 10 Qns, skylarb, Jul 10 22
Jul 10 22
148 plays
  "This Land Is Your Land", Story of a Song   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
"This land is your land, this land is my land.." are words that open a song that many know and have sung. Test your knowledge.
Average, 10 Qns, darksplash, May 09 24
May 09 24
992 plays
  Woody Guthrie   great trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Ever since my parents took me to a union rally in the late 1940's where Woody Guthrie spoke and sang, I've been a fan. Here is a second quiz about him.
Average, 10 Qns, scalar, May 23 05
481 plays
  The Songs of Woody Guthrie   top quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
How well do you remember the words of this great American songwriter of the Depression?
Average, 10 Qns, agony, Nov 20 13
agony editor
731 plays

Woody Guthrie Trivia Questions

1. A visit to the Woody Guthrie center inspired this quiz. The Woody Guthrie center is located in Woody's home state, in what city?

From Quiz
The Tragic Life of Woody Guthrie

Answer: Tulsa

Woody Guthrie was born in Okemah, Oklahoma in 1912. His father later moved to Pampa, Texas, and eventually sent for Woody to join him there. Woody later travelled around the country. The Woody Guthrie center opened in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 2013 and serves as a museum and archive with numerous interactive exhibits.

2. What was Woody's given name?

From Quiz Woody Guthrie

Answer: Woodrow Wilson Guthrie

It is pretty obvious who Woody's parents admired.

3. Complete the lyric. "California is a garden of Eden, a paradise to live in or see; _________ "

From Quiz The Songs of Woody Guthrie

Answer: but believe it or not you won't find it so hot

"Do Re Mi" from 1937. "If you ain't got the do re mi, boys, you ain't got the do re mi, why you better go back to beautiful Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Georgia, Tennessee."

4. Woody Guthrie was named after Woodrow Wilson who, at the time of Woody's birth in July of 1912, held what position?

From Quiz The Tragic Life of Woody Guthrie

Answer: Governor of New Jersey

Woody's parents must have been impressed with the 1912 Democratic nominee for president, because they named Woody after him before the man was even elected to the presidency. The Democratic primaries ended on June 4, 1912, and Woodrow Wilson, then the Governor of New Jersey, won his party's nomination with 44.6% of the vote. He had not yet been elected president when Woodrow Wilson Guthrie was born on July 14, 1912, but later that year he became the 28th (not 25th) President of the United States.

5. Where was Woody born?

From Quiz Woody Guthrie

Answer: Okemah, Oklahoma

Okemah is in Okfuskee County, Oklahoma. In the way Woody was famous for speaking: "Okemah was the singingest, squaredancingest, drinkingest, yellingest, preachingest, walkingest, talkingest, laughingest, cryingest, shootingest, fistfightingest, bleedingest, gamblingest, gun, club and razor carryingest of all our ranch and farm towns."

6. What song are these words from? "Wherever little children are hungry and cry, wherever people ain't free. Wherever men are fightin' for their rights, That's where I'm a-gonna be, Ma. That's where I'm a-gonna be."

From Quiz The Songs of Woody Guthrie

Answer: Tom Joad

This song was written for the album "Dust Bowl Ballads" (1940). Woody had not read the book "The Grapes of Wrath", but he had seen the movie, and he put the story into this song.

7. Woody married his first wife, Marry Jennings, at the tender age of 19. A few years later, he left her and his three children to flee, along with thousands of other "dust bowl refugees," to what state?

From Quiz The Tragic Life of Woody Guthrie

Answer: California

Dust storms plagued Oklahoma during this era, and scores of native Oklahomans fled to California seeking work. In 1938, Woody left behind his wife and children Gwendolyn, Sue, and Bill. In Los Angeles, Woody worked at the KFVD radio station and wrote a column for "People's World." The couple eventually divorced in 1940. Both of Guthrie's daughters from his first marriage died of Huntington's disease (inherited from their father) when they were just 41, and his son died even younger, in his 20s, in an auto-train accident, along with Woody's first wife Mary.

8. What kind of woods are in the first verse of "This Land Is Your Land"?

From Quiz "This Land Is Your Land", Story of a Song

Answer: Redwood

"From the red wood forest to the Gulf Stream waters This land was made for you and me." Woody Guthrie, who wrote those lyrics, was as much of a rambler as the narrator of the song. He traveled in the footsteps of those driven off their land in Oklahoma in the dust bowl period to California, and throughout the USA.

9. Written in 1940, in response to "God Bless America" which Woody said he was tired of hearing Kate Smith sing, this song is his best-known song. It has even been championed as a new national anthem. Please tell me what it is.

From Quiz The Master Storyteller - Woody Guthrie

Answer: This Land is Your Land

The melody is similar to the gospel song, "When the World's on Fire", which was also adapted for the tune "Little Darling Pal of Mine". Woody wrote six verses to the song, two of which were about Depression times. Those weren't included when the song was first recorded. He later wrote a seventh verse which was included, along with the Depression verses, in the 1945 mimeographed "Ten of Woody Guthrie's Songs: Book One". However, when he sang any of his songs, he would use variants depending upon his mood and, perhaps, audience. This song is classed as one of his "Children's Songs".

10. "There once was a _________ , she never was afraid, of goons and ginks and company finks and the deputy sheriffs who made the raid."

From Quiz The Songs of Woody Guthrie

Answer: union maid

"Oh, you can't scare me, I'm sticking to the union, I'm sticking to the union, 'til the day I die." This song was written after Woody was criticized by Ina Wood, a Communist Party organizer in Oklahoma City, for having no songs about women in the labour movement.

11. Woody Guthrie wrote over one hundred songs on Jewish themes, sometimes in collaboration with his mother-in-law, a Yiddish poet. What was her name?

From Quiz The Tragic Life of Woody Guthrie

Answer: Aliza Greenblatt

Woody Guthrie's second wife was Marjorie Greenblatt, a dancer who went by the stage name of Marjorie Mazia. She and Woody had four children: Cathy, Arlo, Joady, and Nora. Woody Guthrie wrote a number of Jewish lyrics with Marjorie's mother Aliza Greenblatt, who was a Yiddish poet. His daughter Nora created an annual multimedia presentation called "Holy Ground: Woody Guthrie's Yiddish Connection," which includes storytelling, writings, artwork, and music.

12. In the song "This Land Is Your Land", what was the narrator doing?

From Quiz "This Land Is Your Land", Story of a Song

Answer: Walking

"As I was walking that ribbon of highway, I saw above me that endless skyway ..." Guthrie was a pacifist and sometimes seen as an apologist for the Soviet Union, but served in the US Merchant Marine during the Second World War.

13. How many songs did he write?

From Quiz Woody Guthrie

Answer: Over a thousand

I know all the answers are technically correct, but from the time he was 20 until he became ill at about age 40, Woody averaged over 50 songs a year.

14. Complete the lyric. "Who are these friends, all scattered like dry leaves? ______ "

From Quiz The Songs of Woody Guthrie

Answer: the radio says "They are just deportees"

"Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos)". Written in 1948 as a memorial to the victims of a plane wreck in Los Gatos Canyon, California. Martin Hoffman wrote the melody about ten years later.

15. What kind of deserts does the narrator encounter in the song "This Land Is Your Land"?

From Quiz "This Land Is Your Land", Story of a Song

Answer: Diamond

"I've roamed and rambled and I followed my footsteps To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts..." That desert theme was picked up in many other Guthrie songs, including "Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos)" about an actual event in 1948 when a plane carrying arrested Mexican workers crashed as they were being flown home from California. "We died in your hills, we died in your deserts, We died in your valleys and died on your plains. We died 'neath your trees and we died in your bushes, Both sides of the river, we died just the same."

16. What dam was he commissioned to write about by the Bonneville Power Authority?

From Quiz Woody Guthrie

Answer: Grand Coulee Dam

I always think of the song as "The 'Great' Grand Coulee Dam." It was part of "The Columbia River Songs," which also includes "Roll On Columbia," the state folk song of Washington. He was paid $270 for 30 days of work and he wrote 26 songs.

17. "Yes, as through this world I've wandered I've seen lots of funny men; some will rob you with a six-gun _______ "

From Quiz The Songs of Woody Guthrie

Answer: and some with a fountain pen

"And as through your life you travel, Yes, as through your life you roam, You won't never see an outlaw drive a family from their home." "Pretty Boy Floyd" (1939).

18. Woody Guthrie's father reportedly participated in the lynching of Laura and L.D. Nelson, which prompted Woody Guthrie to eventually write what song?

From Quiz The Tragic Life of Woody Guthrie

Answer: Don't Kill My Baby and Son

Charles Guthrie became a member of the revived Ku Klux Klan beginning around 1915, and he had earlier, according to later reports by Woody Guthrie, participated in the 1911 lynching of two African-Americans, a mother and son, Laura and L. D. Nelson, who were snatched from their cells in county jail, where they were being held until trial under the charge of participating in the murder of an Okfuskee County deputy sheriff. Guthrie was horrified to learn of his father's reported participation in the lynching, and he wrote three songs about the event, including "Don't Kill My Baby and Son."

19. The song "This Land Is Your Land" is often sung as a hymn of praise to the mighty land that is America. However, it is no saccharine-sweet homily. Where did the narrator find people standing hungry?

From Quiz "This Land Is Your Land", Story of a Song

Answer: The relief office

"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?" Woody Guthrie was, if not a literal communist, someone who sided with the ordinary working people of America. He saw them as downtrodden by big business and getting a raw deal while a minority of people got rich on their labours. Guthrie contributed a column "Woody Sez," to the Communist newspaper, "People's World."

20. What was written on one of his guitars?

From Quiz Woody Guthrie

Answer: This Machine Kills Fascists

Actually, I've seen pictures of several of Woody's guitars with this phrase written in different places. This one was easy if you know about his work.

21. "Cross the mountains to the sea , come the wife and kids and me. It's a hot old dusty highway _______ "

From Quiz The Songs of Woody Guthrie

Answer: for a dust bowl refugee

"Dust Bowl Refugee" (1938). Woody used to introduce this song "You know, there are different kinds of refugees. There are people who are forced to take refuge under a railroad bridge because they ain't got noplace else to go, and there are those who take refuge in public office..." ("Woody Guthrie: A Life" by Joe Klein, 1981)

22. What happened to Woody Guthrie's eighth child, Lorina Lynn?

From Quiz The Tragic Life of Woody Guthrie

Answer: She was put up for adoption by her parents and died in a car crash as a teenager

Woody Guthrie married his third wife, Anneke Van Kirkand, in 1953, shortly after his divorce from Marjorie. They divorced a short time later, in 1954, and had one child, Lorina Lynn. After they divorced, Woody and Anneke allowed a couple they knew to adopt their daughter Lorina Lynn. The girl later tragically died in a car crash in California in 1973, at the young age of 19. After her adoption, she had no further contact with Woody Guthrie.

23. The man who wrote "This Land Is Your Land" often 'borrowed' ideas from other sources. Which county and western group recorded a song on which the "This Land..." melody was based?

From Quiz "This Land Is Your Land", Story of a Song

Answer: The Carter Family

The Carter Family recorded "When the World's On Fire", which borrowed from the Baptist hymn "Oh, My Loving Brother". Peter Seeger, a great friend and collaborator of Woody Guthrie, told of remarking to Woody that another songwriter had 'stolen' some of his work. Guthrie replied: "Oh he just stole from me, I steal from everybody". (As recalled by Seeger on a live recording with Arlo Guthrie, a son of Woody.) (No, I have not made up "Chuck Wagon & the Wheels". They were a group with a professional wrestling ethos. As we say in Ireland: "only in America...")

24. Remaining one of Guthrie's most popular "Dust Bowl" songs, this one was one of the earliest, written in 1937. In it you learn what you need in order to go and live happily in California. What's the name of it?

From Quiz The Master Storyteller - Woody Guthrie

Answer: Do-Re-Mi

Woody recorded this for Alan Lomax and the Library of Congress in 1940. A month later he recorded it for Victor Records as a song in the "Dust Bowl Ballads, Vol. 1". He again recorded it, this time for Asch, in 1947, but that wasn't released by Folkways until 1956 on "Bound for Glory". It is still one of his most popular Dust Bowl songs. It's a fun, easy to sing, song that warned the migrants that perhaps California wasn't the end-all, be-all, just as Steinbeck warned in "The Grapes of Wrath".

25. "Mermaid Avenue" came out in 1998. It is an album of songs written by Woody Guthrie, with music by ________ ?

From Quiz The Songs of Woody Guthrie

Answer: Billy Bragg

"Mermaid Avenue", by Billy Bragg and Wilco, was produced by Nora Guthrie, Woody Guthrie's daughter. "Vol II" came out in 2000.

26. Who is Woody's most famous child?

From Quiz Woody Guthrie

Answer: Arlo Guthrie

Woody and his second wife, Marjorie, had four children, the ones listed in the answers. Cathy died at age four and Arlo went on to a continuing successful career, singing his father's and his own songs. He is best known for "Alice's Restaurant," a whimsical, funny, but also moving protest against the draft.

27. "They sighed and cried, hugged and kissed, instead of marriage they talked like this ________ "

From Quiz The Songs of Woody Guthrie

Answer: so long, it's been good to know you

"... This dusty old dust is getting my home, and I got to be driftin' along". Written in 1935, at the height of the drought.

28. What nineteen-year-old folk musician went to visit an ailing Woody Guthrie and sang to his idol his own original composition "Song to Woody," which later appeared on his debut album?

From Quiz The Tragic Life of Woody Guthrie

Answer: Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan was a great admirer of Woody Guthrie's and met him before he died. He played Woody's songs for him, as well as a song of his own he'd written in honor of the man. Dylan's "Song to Woody" appeared on his debut album "Bob Dylan" in 1962. In 2022, the Bob Dylan center opened in Tulsa, Oklahoma on the same street as the Woody Guthrie center.

29. "Nobody living can ever stop me..." sings the narrator in "This Land Is Your Land" and it mentions many places and locations in the USA. Where, though, was the song written?

From Quiz "This Land Is Your Land", Story of a Song

Answer: Hanover House Hotel, New York City

Originally, the song had six verses, however Guthrie regularly dropped verses, reinstated them and added new ones over the years. He first recorded the song in 1944. The Sunset Doheny Hotel, incidentally, is where Tom Paxton, who was greatly influenced by Guthrie, says he wrote "Bottle Of Wine."

30. "Rainy night down in the engine house, sleepin' just as still as a mouse. Man come along and he chased us out in the rain. Was that _______ "

From Quiz The Songs of Woody Guthrie

Answer: a vigilante man

As the 'dust bowl refugees' flocked to the cities and to California, they were met with increasing hostility by the townspeople. "Vigilante Man" 1938.

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Last Updated Jul 13 2024 5:47 AM
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