Singer Richie Havens dies


This music video from the USA is called Richie Havens, Freedom, (Woodstock).

From Wikipedia:

Richard P. “Richie” Havens (January 21, 1941 – April 22, 2013)[1] was an American folk singer and guitarist.[2] He is best known for his intense, rhythmic guitar style (often in open tunings), soulful covers of pop and folk songs, and his opening performance at the 1969 Woodstock Festival. …

Born in Brooklyn, Havens was the eldest of nine children.[2] At an early age, he began organizing his neighborhood friends into street corner doo-wop groups and was performing with The McCrea Gospel Singers at 16.[2] At age 20, Havens left Brooklyn, seeking artistic stimulation in Greenwich Village. “I saw the Village as a place to escape to, in order to express yourself,” he recalls. “I had first gone there during the Beatnik days of the 1950s to perform poetry, then I drew portraits for two years and stayed up all night listening to folk music in the clubs. It took a while before I thought of picking up a guitar.”[citation needed]

Havens’ reputation as a solo performer soon spread beyond the Village folk circles.[2] After cutting two records for Douglas Records, Havens signed on with Bob Dylan’s manager Albert Grossman, and landed a record deal with the Verve Forecast label. Verve released Mixed Bag in 1967, which featured tracks like “Handsome Johnny” (co-written by Havens and future Oscar-winning actor Louis Gossett Jr.), “Follow”, and a cover of Bob Dylan‘s “Just Like a Woman“. By 1969, he had released five more albums. Something Else Again (1968) became Havens’ first album to hit the Billboard chart and also pulled Mixed Bag back onto the charts.

Havens’ reputation as a live performer earned him widespread notice. His Woodstock appearance proved to be a major turning point in his career.[2] As the festival’s first performer, he held the crowd for nearly three hours (in part because he was told to perform a lengthy set because many artists were delayed in reaching the festival location), and was called back for several encores. Having run out of tunes, he improvised a song based on the old spiritual “Motherless Child” that became “Freedom”. The subsequent Woodstock movie release helped Havens reach a worldwide audience. He also appeared at the Isle of Wight Festival in late August 1969.[3][4]

Increasingly, Havens devoted his energies to educating young people about ecological issues. In the mid-1970s, he co-founded the Northwind Undersea Institute, an oceanographic children’s museum on City Island in the Bronx. That, in turn, led to the creation of The Natural Guard, an organization Richie describes as “a way of helping kids learn that they can have a hands-on role in affecting the environment. Children study the land, water, and air in their own communities and see how they can make positive changes from something as simple as planting a garden in an abandoned lot.” …

Havens died of a heart attack on April 22, 2013. He was 72 years old.

See also here.

5 thoughts on “Singer Richie Havens dies

  1. Pingback: Australians against re-starting Iraq war | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Being homeless, a crime in Oxford, England? | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Preachers risk their congregations killed by coronavirus | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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