Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Richie Havens at Woodstock

I was an American History major in college. I took an interesting class on the 60s in America. I had to write 5 papers for the class - one about every two weeks - demanding but challenging and the prof was a really good guy.

One paper I wrote was about America's entry into the Vietnam War - why it happened and what it meant for the country.

I prefaced my main points with a digression about Ritchie Havens and his song about soldiers marching off to war, and eventually to fight for civil rights in Birmingham, Alabama.

Watching the film "Woodstock" - a documentary about the 3-day music festival that took place in 1969 was part of the syllabus. I consider myself fairly knowledge about American popular music, so I knew all about Jimi, CSNY, The Who and other greats who made an impression at Woodstock. The revelation for me was watching Havens' performance, which opened the whole 3-day concert.

He sings with such passion and soul - it's not about fashion, or selling records or being popular - it's about pure music trying to transport you and tell a story.

I came across the above clip while surfing around YouTube - I hope you enjoy it.


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