Woody Guthrie found N.C. union mighty white

“[In December 1947] he was paid a hundred dollars to sing for striking tobacco workers in [Winston-Salem]. He quickly ran into trouble, though, when he wrote a picket line song that included the verse:

All colors of hands gonna work together
All colors of eyes gonna laugh and shine
All colors of feet gonna dance together
When I bring my CIO to Caroline, Caroline

“The problem was, of course, that the [Food, Tobacco, and Allied Workers] union was segregated. The organizers insisted he cut the verse. ‘I [said] that if the line got the blue pencil, me and my guitar hit the road for home,’ he reported in the Daily Worker. But the union held firm, and the white workers boycotted the meeting… ‘It cut me to my bones to have to play and sing for those Negroes with no other colors mixing in.’ ”

— From “Woody Guthrie: A Life” (1980) by Joe Klein