An American folk singer and an airplane designer hanging out in Wichita
I’m a big fan of folk singer Arlo Guthrie. While he is most widely known for the songs “Alice’s Restaurant” and “City of New Orleans”, he’s recorded many albums full of great original tunes, and he records and performs a seemingly endless portfolio of tunes he inherited from his father–folk legend Woody Guthrie. He has performed with every major folk singer in America, and he even performed at Woodstock forty years ago.
So it was a nice surprise for me to discover that Arlo Guthrie and I were both staying at the Broadview Hotel in Wichita Kansas last week. I was there on airplane business, and he was performing at Wichita’s Orpheum Theater.
I got to catch his performance, and even had a chance to chat with him at the hotel.
His show was full of great music and great stories, and the family-filled audience enthusiastically laughed at his constant humorous anecdotes and sang along with all the familiar tunes. And I left the concert inspired to be more peaceful and appreciative, the way I always leave his shows.
Here’s one of my favorite you-tube recordings, with Arlo Guthrie and his close friend Pete Seeger singing Woody Guthrie’s tune “This Land is your Land, in 1993.
And, for those of you that are Arlo Guthrie fans like me, you may enjoy the tune below, which he explained was one of the very last ones his father wrote while in the hospital struggling with the final stages of Huntington’s disease. The lyrics are Woody’s, the music is Arlo’s. Arlo Guthrie ended the Wichita concert with this number, with the audience singing along.