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The early life of Woody Guthrie as a vagabond folk singer.

In 1936 Pampa, Texas, there isn't much work to be had, including for the local sign painter, Woody Guthrie. Woody's wife, Mary Guthrie, seems more concerned about the lack of money to feed their family than Woody, who passes the time playing his guitar and singing songs he's written. But as many before him have done, Woody decides to go on the road, specifically to California, stories about where there is plenty of work to be had. Along the way both by riding the rails and hitching rides, Woody hopes to paint a few signs to earn a meal, and play his guitar in his spare time. Once in California, he finds that the land of plenty is not so much so, but the spirit of those looking for work is strong. His fortunes change when he meets union organizer and popular singer Ozark Bule in one of the farm labor camps. Based on what he sees around him and his experiences with Ozark, Woody begins to write more politically based songs about the working class. Ozark manages to get Woody on a local radio broadcast, which leads to a regular local radio program with another singer named Memphis Sue. But in his musical life and spending time with Ozark organizing the laborers, Woody finds that he has to balance the popular aspect of being an entertainer - which is solely what the radio station owner and the show's sponsors hired him for - against airing his political views through his music. He also has to try and find a way to balance his want to spread his messages to the masses while maintaining a home life with Mary and the kids.


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