Folk Music Pirate Brings Back a Piece of History

Recording music without the creator’s permission and benefiting from it financially can be a criminal offense in the United States. But sometimes that initial ‘crime’ can turn out wonderfully.

In 1949, folk musician Woody Guthrie – who has since influenced the likes of Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen – performed his ‘Live Wire’ concert in Newark. The original recording of that event disappeared.

In 2008, however, a recording of Live Wire was released in the United States and it is now crossing the Atlantic for the pleasures of a UK audience. But if the recording couldn’t be found, how was this achieved?

Simple. The event was recorded by a bootlegger who later handed over the recording to the Woody Guthrie Foundation for restoration.

Piracy, it seems, can be great for the preservation of culture.

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