Woody Guthrie and the Columbia River Songs“, the next captivating podcast in the Hear in the Gorge podcast series is now available on all our outlets. This podcast is a remarkable remembrance and celebration of one of America’s best known protest folksingers who went to work for a very short while for the federal government. When Woody toured the Columbia River and the Pacific Northwest he said he “couldn’t believe it, it’s a paradise”, and that inspired him to write 26 songs, that are now considered iconic for the region, in just 30 days.

When folksinger Woody Guthrie strolled into the Bonneville Power Administration in 1941, he played a song or two on his guitar, filled out some paperwork, and was hired by the federal government to write narration songs for BPA movies like “The Columbia“.  And then, just as abruptly as it began, this odd-couple story came to an end. The folk singer’s 30 days at BPA is considered one of the single most productive bursts in his fruitful songwriting career. We track down the man who rediscovered this complicated history and get to the heart of what caused the federal government to hire a “scruffy radical folksinger” to write songs about the promise of dams in the Pacific Northwest.

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