"Woody Guthrie was, is, America's balladeer. During the epoch of our greatest despair, the Great Depression, his were the songs that lifted the lowly spirits of the 'ordinary,' the millions of the dispossessed. They may have lacked for bread, but he offered them something else: self esteem, hope, and a laugh or two along the way. Who was this bard?"
"Dust bowl songs, hobo songs, children's songs, work songs, loafing songs, union songs, river songs, lonesome turtledove songs; songs infinite in their variety, celebrating the wonder of man. For what is man to Woody? 'Just a hoping machine, a working machine. The human race will sing this way as long as there is a human race. The human race is a pretty old place.'"
-Studs Terkel, as excerpted from his Foreward to Ramblin' Man