Arlo Guthrie Biography

Arlo Davy Guthrie, the son of folk pioneer Woody Guthrie, is an American folk singer known for his powerful music that protests against social injustice. His sarcastic blues song, ‘Alice’s Restaurant Massacree’, became a Thanksgiving anthem in the United States. Additionally, his song ‘Massachusetts’ was adopted as the official folk song of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Arlo’s passion for music was ignited at a young age, and he quickly realized that it was his life’s calling. By the mid-1960s, he had become an icon of the counterculture generation and achieved great success in the late 1960s and early 1970s with albums like ‘Arlo’ and ‘Running down the Road’. Arlo Guthrie’s impact on folk music is so significant that he even created his own recording label, Rising Son Records, in 1983. He believes in passing on the values of folk music to future generations, just like many other folk musicians.

Quick Facts

  • Also Known As: Arlo Davy Guthrie
  • Age: 76 Years, 76 Year Old Males
  • Family:
    • Spouse/Ex-: Jackie Guthrie
    • Father: Woody Guthrie
    • Mother: Marjorie Guthrie
    • Siblings: Nora Guthrie
    • Children: Abe Guthrie, Annie Guthrie, Cathy Guthrie, Sarah Lee Guthrie
  • Born Country: United States
  • Musicians
  • Folk Singers
  • Height: 6’0″ (183 cm), 6’0″ Males
  • Ancestry: Ukrainian American
  • U.S. State: New Yorkers

Childhood & Early Life

Arlo Davy Guthrie was born on July 10, 1947, in Brooklyn, New York, to folk singer and composer Woody Guthrie and Marjorie Mazia Guthrie. His mother was a professional dancer with the Martha Graham Company and his sister, Nora Guthrie, is a record producer. Arlo’s maternal grandmother was the famous poet Aliza Greenblatt. Despite his parents’ divorce when he was young, Arlo remained close to his father, who gifted him a guitar on his sixth birthday. He attended Woodward School in Brooklyn and graduated from the Stockbridge School in Massachusetts in 1965. He briefly attended Rocky Mountain College in Montana.


After his father’s death in 1967, Arlo’s close friends, including Cisco Houston, Leadbelly, and Pete Seeger, played an active role in his life and career. He regularly performed with Seeger. In 1965, Arlo was arrested for illegally dumping garbage on private property, which became the basis for his song “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree.” He signed a deal with Warner Brothers and released the album “Alice’s Restaurant” in 1967, which became popular among college students and counterculture radio stations. He released several more albums, including “Arlo” in 1968 and “Running Down the Road” in 1969. He also appeared in the film version of “Alice’s Restaurant” in 1969, which received acclaim.

In 1970, Arlo released the album “Washington County,” followed by “Hobo’s Lullaby” in 1972. His song “The City of New Orleans” became his only Top 40 hit in 1972. Despite his success, Arlo preferred singing and songwriting to acting, although he made appearances in films and TV shows throughout his career.

Personal Life

Arlo Guthrie was married to Jackie Hyde for 43 years until her death in 2012. They had four children, all of whom are musicians. In 1991, Arlo purchased the old Trinity Church and founded the Guthrie Center to honor the legacy of his parents. The Guthrie Foundation aims to promote education, preserve culture, and meet the needs of the community. Arlo has been politically active throughout his life, advocating for causes such as anti-war efforts and making nuclear power illegal. He campaigned for George McGovern in 1984 and was a registered Republican in 2008.

Major Works

Arlo Guthrie’s song “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree” from his debut album “Alice’s Restaurant” made him famous and a youth icon of the 1960s counterculture scene. His album “Amigo” in 1976 received a 5-star rating from Rolling Stone. Another successful work is his single “City of New Orleans,” a lyrical poem about a train ride, which he embarked on to raise money for musicians affected by hurricanes.

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