Richie Havens


On the first day of Woodstock, Aug. 15, 1969, Richie Havens was supposed to be the fifth act. With the scheduled openers all stuck in a massive traffic jam, Havens and his small band ended up taking the stage first, at a little after 5 p.m. They played their scheduled songs, plus more--including the anti--Vietnam War anthem "Handsome Johnny"--and then Havens improvised an encore, blending "Freedom" (which he made up on the spot) with the spiritual "Motherless Child." Two years before Woodstock, Havens, who died April 22 at 72, released a soulful album, Mixed Bag, that pervaded FM radio; two years...

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