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Recognizing The African American Influence On Classic Rock – Black History Month – Richie Havens [VIDEO]

Richie Havens, YouTube

Richie Havens was ‘the man’ in 1969 as he burst open the gates of the Woodstock festival and a great choice it was to have him do that.The crowd was blown away and proved it by giving him a continuous standing ovation throughout Richie’s performances and his stage presence is something still heard in conversation today when his name is brought up. Oddly enough he had to stop doing encores because he literally ran out of songs.

Richie’s voice was rich in soul and he has a very distinct style when it comes to handling the guitar.

Those two things alone made him high on demand since the mid – 60’s working his way up through coffee houses with the likes of Bob Dylan and Joan Baez in the Greenwich Village area which is on the lower west side of Manhattan in New York City.

Havens is still recording and performing to this date, in 2008 he released, ‘Nobody Left To Crown’ and in 2009 he would return to the original Woodstock festival to attend their 40th anniversary and perform at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts.

Attached is his 1969 performance at Woodstock so you can see first hand how this artist can astonish a crowd.

Clarence Clemons


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