About Us – A History – Donate

harris drugOur History; 1991 thru 2017
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Pampa’s Tribute to Woody Guthrie was established as a 501 {c}{3}organization in 1991 by Thelma Bray and Glenna Lea Miller.
On October 3, 1992 the first Woody Guthrie Tribute in Pampa, Tx was held on the 25th annivesary of Woody’s death. Mary Guthrie, family and friends attended.

In January of 1997, Arlo Guthrie was in Pampa for a benefit performance in the M.K. Brown Auditorium.

September 19, 2000 – John Farister provided a plan to create The Woody Guthrie Folk Music Center in the Harris Drug Store, where Woody worked.

April 27th, 2001 – The Harris Drug Store was purchased by Pampa’s Tribute.
October 2001 – A book, “Reflections: The Life and Times of Woody Guthrie” was published by our own Thelma Bray.

October 3, 2003 – Pete Seeger and Toshi came to Pampa for several days of celebration.
Annual events have been held on October 3, since 1992. Our thanks to all who have supported us through the years. A special thanks to Mary Jo, Woody’s sister, and to Ann Guthrie and all her family. Ann was Woody’s sister-in-law.

January to July 2009 – Panhandle Plains Historical Museum {PPHM} in Canyon, Texas – an exibit – “Woody Guthrie in Pampa, 1929 – 1936”.

In mid 2011 Bob Santelli from the Grammy Museum in L.A. came to visit and talk to us about Woody’s 100th birthday. There were events all across the country honoring Woody in 2012 and Mr Santelli invited us to be a part of the celebration. In March of 2012, Arlo Guthrie entertained us once again with a very special show where Thelma Bray was presented with a bronze plaque by Nora Guthrie commemorating her work for Woody and recognizing the Center as a special place for Woody fans to visit and participate in Woody’s legacy. The plaque hangs outside the Harris Drugstore for the world to see.

October 2012– Jimmy LaFave honored us with ‘Walking Woody’s Road’, a tribute of Woody’s songs along with a video presentation and some of Woody’s story. Jimmy was joined by Michael Fracasso and Betty Soo along with a group of fantastic musicians. Our Centennial Celebration was an overall musical success we will never forget.

2013– A fine group of young men and virtuoso musicians ‘Milkdrive’ was featured in our October celebration. What Music!!

2014 — Our celebration this year was highlighted by a one man play called ‘Woody Sed’. Thomas Jones wrote and starred in this wonderful show. I laughed, I cried, I sang. Tom will be performing the same show in Okemah in July 2015 at the Crystal Theatre.

2015- The Texas Pearl Snaps performed at our annual tribute. We also hosted several local musicians for sets at the ‘Center’. Grant Peeples, whom I met in Okemah, gave us a taste of his poetry and songwriting. Grant is truly unique and I don’t use the word lightly! His irreverent humor and evocative lyrics will leave a lasting impression on all who listen. He is a wordsmith of uncommon caliber and a gentleman I am honored to know. He has a new album entitled ‘A Congress of Treasons’ coming out in 2016. One cold night a man walked in on one our jam sessions and quietly checked out the walls covered in stories about Woody and stayed to listen to our amateur pickin’. Afterwards, I was closing up and we struck up a conversation. It took a good half hour for me to find out this man was ‘Bobcat Jack’, a world renowned guitarist with a resume a mile long. J.W. Everitt was in town visiting a friend while waiting to do an upcoming show in Amarillo. Jack and I visited at length throughout that week and he honored us with a blues show preceding our next jam. I now have a new friend…. You never know who you might meet at The Woody Guthrie Folk Music Center!

2016 – The highlight of 2016 was having Don Edwards, America’s Cowboy Singer perform at our annual event. What a voice, what a gentleman, what a show! I wrote about that show for Focus Magazine. You can read about it on the Focus tab. Shortly thereafter we had Chad Elliott out of Iowa with Tommy Lewis playing lead guitar. Great songwriter, lyricist and performer, we were lucky to have Chad and Tommy here. Another act that was hard to follow was The DustJackets out of Amarillo, Tx. Amy Coffman, Larry Martin, Joe Quattlebaum and Rick Faucett make up this dynamic group of musicians and we certainly hope to have them back!

2017- Right now we have The Texas Pearl Snaps, Chad and Tommy coming back and The Randy Boys lined up.

2 Responses to About Us – A History – Donate

  1. karlpall says:

    What time does the jam session begin this Friday (July 18)? I’ll be in the area and would like to check it out.
    –Thanks, Karl

  2. admin says:

    This place is for the people. Come and be a part of it with us. Your voice is essential. Your presence is a blessing

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