Woody Guthrie, the 20th century folk singer, will have his songs showcased in a special program featuring Tim Holt.

America in song

Friends of the Ashland Public Library will present "Woody Guthrie and the Great American Folk song," a brief history of the American folk song.

Writer and singer Tim Holt will give the free presentation at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 28, at the Ashland Library, 410 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland.

Holt will trace the American folk song from its origins in the British Isles and West Africa and the social context from which it arose, to the old-time ballads of Appalachia right up to the ramblin,' Depression-era songs of Woody Guthrie.

Along the way Holt will sing a variety of American folk songs, representing various aspects of history and culture. Selections include songs of westward settlement ("Cumberland Gap" and "Sweet Betsy From Pike"); old-time gospel ("Lonesome Valley"); Guthrie's original contributions ("Ramblin' Round"); Lead Belly classics ("Goodnight, Irene" and "Rock Island Line"); and the contributions of Charles Neblett, a champion of civil rights in the 1960s ("If You Miss Me On The Back Of The Bus").

"The history of the American folk song is really a people's history of this country," Holt said in a press release.

A frequent contributor to the Sunday San Francisco Chronicle, Holt is the author of "Songs Of The Simple Life," a collection of essays, and "On Higher Ground," a futuristic novel. He was the editor of The Suttertown News, Sacramento's alternative newspaper. Holt lives in Dunsmuir, Calif. Call 774-6996.

Call 774-6996.

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