Biopic of the illustrious folk singer/composer Woody Guthrie. In Depression-era America, sign painter Woody Guthrie (David Carradine) hitches rides from Texas to California, determined to seek his fortune, only to be turned away at the border. However, Guthrie manages to sneak into the State anyway, teaming up with Luther Johnson (Randy Quaid) to look for work. Guthrie's musical talent is first spotted by folk singer Ozark Bule (Ronny Cox) at a sing-song for the unemployed and, almost overnight, Guthrie becomes a hit on the radio. However, his firmly-held political beliefs and songs detailing the hardships of farm workers do not enamour him to the powers that be, and the singer determines to take his message out on the road.