In Ramblin' Man, his upcoming biography of Woody Guthrie, USC journalism professor Ed Cray explores Guthrie's years in Glendale, Topanga and Silverlake hanging out with other notable lefties of 1930s and '40s Los Angeles, including Will Geer, Dorothy Healey and Harry Hay. Cray emails:
I was the first biographer to use the newly opened Woody Guthrie Archive in 1998, and also found a great deal of original material in the hands of private collectors. In addition, I interviewed more than 70 people who knew Guthrie. The result, I believe, is a richer, more rounded portrait of the man, and a moving love story to boot.
To be published in February by W.W. Norton, the book also goes into Guthrie's involvement with the pioneering L.A. radio station KFVD. A "sundowner" that went off the air at dusk, KFVD happens to also be the first radio home of Hunter Hancock, who is called "the West Coast's first R&B disc jockey" by the Doo Wop Society of Southern California.