Daniel Blegen - Author / Performer
Schedule one of my lively presentations
for your school, library or entertainment venue
2012 is Woody Guthrie's Centennial Year.
Hear his life story the way it should be heard - In his songs!
HARD TRAVELIN' : WOODY GUTHRIE's LIFE and SONGS
Woody Guthrie was the Oklahoma balladeer whose simple but evocative songs have enriched the American musical repertoire. Roaming the country in the 1930's, Woody connected with America's working poor and dignified their lives in song. His signature tune, This Land Is Your Land, emerged again as a rallying cry during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960's.
2012 is Woody Guthrie's centennial year, a great time to hear the life story of this humble singer songwriter. In Hard Travelin' I discuss Woody's life and sing his songs. This unique, one-hour lecture / mini-concert includes Woody's Dust Bowl ballads, his songs of the West, and his tributes to America's farmers, factory workers and service men. Included are a dozen tunes, including Hard Travelin', Roll On Columbia, Union Maid, Sinking of the Reuben James, So Long It's Been Good to Know Ya, and, of course, This Land Is Your Land.
Fandango at Bent's Fort
featuring "The Greatest Hits of the 1840s"
Fandango takes audiences down the Santa Fe Trail and all the way back to 1846 for a visit at William Bent’s vibrant trading post on the Arkansas River in Colorado Territory. This is history in the words of the people who lived it: William and Charles Bent, trader's wife Susan Magoffin, Army private Marcellus Ball Edwards, African-American slave Charlotte Green, Cheyenne woman Mis-stan-stur and others.
At the end of many a dusty day along the trail, the inhabitants of Bent’s Fort were more than happy to dance the night away to the latest popular songs making their way down the trail from "back home in the states." A fandango always made the difficult life of the prairie a bit more bearable.
In telling the story of Bent’s Fort, Blegen sings the songs that might have been heard at one of those fandangos: Rosin' the Beau, Buffalo Gals, The Blue Tail Fly, Sweet Betsy from Pike and more.
Also included are historic and contemporary photos of the fort and the people who worked there, as well as information about the lesser-known trading forts built along the South Platte River – by the Bent brothers and others – between present day Fort Lupton and Platteville.
This one-hour presentation is based on the author's book, Bent's Fort: Crossroads of Cultures on the Santa Fe Trail, co-authored with Melvin Bacon.