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Woody Guthrie sings on NYC streets: Check out a cool photo gallery from 1943

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woody-guthrieImage Credit: Life.comThis Sunday, Oct. 3, is the anniversary of Woody Guthrie’s death at age 55 in 1967. In honor of the great radical folkie, LIFE.com has put together an amazing gallery of photos from their archives.

Taken in 1943 by photographer Eric Schaal, these rare images show Guthrie singing to the young and old citizens of New York City in subway cars, pubs, and playgrounds, accompanied only by his fascist-slaying acoustic guitar. Everyday places like these, rather than a spotlit stage, were his true element. How many rock stars can say the same today?

Yet Guthrie’s fearless protest music has inspired generations of activists and singers, including many famous names. Without him, the careers of Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Joan Baez, Wilco, Phil Ochs, and Billy Bragg would have looked very different, to name just a few. So take a moment today to browse these photos and remember a late legend in his prime.

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Originally posted October 1 2010 — 12:06 PM EDT

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