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Fearful dust storm inspires songwriter


On this day in 1935 a great dust storm covered the Texas Panhandle town of Pampa, inspiring Woody Guthrie to write the song "So Long, It's Been Good To Know You." Guthrie had moved to Pampa in 1929. Performing with bands at nightclubs and radio stations in the Panhandle, he found his calling as lyricist and musician and began developing skills that later gained him a reputation as a writer, cartoonist, and down-home philosopher. He married a Pampa girl, Mary Jennings, in 1933 and experienced the pain of the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression, sources of his many songs that appealed to his fellow sufferers. When the great storm of April 14, 1935, occurred, some Pampans thought that the end of the world was upon them and that there was just time for final goodbyes. Tired of dust and poverty, Guthrie left for Los Angeles in 1937.

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