Arlo Guthrie, the son of America's legendary dust bowl troubadour Woody Guthrie and Martha Graham dancer Marjorie Mazia Guthrie, was reared in the rarefied atmosphere of New York City's remnant Old Left culture, a period that brought together art, political action, and folk music. Music was part of Guthrie's life from the very beginning and his self-confessed earliest childhood memory was standing knee-high next to Lead Belly, the blues legend and "King of the twelve-string Guitar." Arlo's earliest mentors were his father's friends, and the youngster would learn his craft from the giants of American folk music: Pete Seeger, the Weavers, Cisco Houston, Josh White, Oscar Brand, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Brownie McGhee, and Sonny Terry. Arlo Guthrie: The Warner/Reprise Years revisits Guthrie's fifteen-year ride as a recording artist for the prestigious record label. Hank Reineke guides readers through the colorful history of Guthrie's most creative period, when the droll, shaggy-haired troubadour promised in song that a "new world" was surely coming. In his thoughtful consideration of Guthrie's career as a popular, if idiosyncratic, recording artist for the Reprise/Warner Bros. label, Reineke regales readers with stories behind the remarkable success of Guthrie's talking blues-turned-movie Alice's Restaurant and his celebrated appearance at the 1969 Woodstock festival.
Guthrie's time at Reprise/Warner Bros. from 1967 to 1982 saw twelve critically acclaimed solo albums, two staple singles of FM radio ("Coming Into Los Angeles" and "City of New Orleans"), and a pair of treasured folk-music recording collaborations with Pete Seeger. With a look at Guthrie's life and times before and after this prolific period of his career, Arlo Guthrie: The Warner/Reprise Years is the first biography dedicated solely to this gifted artist. A goldmine of information on the Guthrie family's legacy to American music, the counterculture of the 1960s, and the record industry of the 1970s, this work also features a detailed bibliography as well as the first comprehensive discography of Guthrie's recordings through the present day. Arlo Guthrie: The Warner/Reprise Years will appeal to popular music historians, folk-rock fans, and readers interested in the American counterculture of the 1960s and 1970s.