Thursday, July 12, 2018

John Mellencamp to be honored with the Woody Guthrie Prize

John Mellencamp has been named the 2018 recipient of the Woody Guthrie Prize.

The Indiana rocker will receive the honor during an August 30 event in Tulsa, OK, home of the Woody Guthrie Center, which is dedicated to celebrating the folk legend's life and legacy and educating a new generation about his important role in American history.

“The Woody Guthrie Center is proud to recognize John Mellencamp for his incredible achievements as he continues the work of Woody Guthrie,” says Executive Director Deana McCloud. “Artists working as activists ensure that Woody’s legacy is alive and well, and this award was established to not only recognize achievement, but to remind us all about the importance of taking a stand on human rights issues.”

The Woody Guthrie Prize will be awarded during an intimate program at The FlyLoft in Tulsa, directly above the Woody Guthrie Center; the event will be moderated by music journalist Bill Flanagan.

Tickets for the presentation event will go on sale July 20 via the Woody Guthrie Center or by calling 918-574-2710.

Past recipients of the award include Norman Lear (2017), Kris Kristofferson (2016), Mavis Staples (2015) and Pete Seeger (2014).

The prize event will coincide with the August 31 opening of MELLENCAMP, an exhibit of music, art and artifacts curated by the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame and hosted by the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa that tells the story of Mellencamp’s early influences and his role as a champion of heartland values and an advocate for American farmers.

Scheduled through the end of 2018, the exhibit will display more than 100 items, including:

* His 1966 silver Honda Scrambler 305 motorcycle
* Personal photographs and ephemera
* Mellencamp’s main Dove acoustic guitar
* Items related to the recording of “Jack & Diane”
* Performance outfits
* Several original paintings by Mellencamp
* Original handwritten lyrics to “Small Town,” “R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.,” “Cherry Bomb,” “Pop Singer,” and “Longest Days”

“I would like this exhibit to let people know, or discover, that I really have spent my entire life living the way I want to live, and doing what I want to do,” explains Mellencamp. “And, that I consider myself the luckiest guy in the world for being able to do that.”

Mellencamp, a native of Indiana, was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2008 and was inducted this year into the Songwriters Hall of Fame by Woody’s daughter, Nora Guthrie. In 2012, Mellencamp received The John Steinbeck Award: “In The Souls Of The People.” As a co-founder of Farm Aid, Mellencamp has helped give a voice and raise money for dispossessed farm families. He continues to tour and impact the musical landscape with his influence shown through musicians across genres.

Mellencamp has released nearly two dozen albums since the 1970s, with 10 records reaching the platinum sales mark. His most recent album, 2017’s “Sad Clowns and Hillbillies:, includes the song “My Soul’s Got Wings,” with lyrics written by Woody Guthrie and music by Mellencamp.

The rocker will be among the artists set to perform at the 2018 edition of Farm Aid this fall.

The September 22 event at the at Xfinity Theatre in Hartford marks the first time in its 33-year history that the annual charity concert in support of family farms will be held in Connecticut.

Mellencamp will follow Farm Aid with a fall tour of Canada; the two-month run will open in Moncton, NB on September 26.

See also:

Neil Young and John Mellencamp among Farm Aid 2018 performers
John Mellencamp announces Canadian tour
John Mellencamp to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall Of Fame
VIDEO: John Mellencamp performs on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
Search John Mellencamp at hennemusic