Monday, April 22, 2013

Richie Havens passes away on Earth Day

As sad as the news is to those who've loved his music for many years, it seems fitting that if Richie Havens were to pass away that news of it would come on Earth Day.

Richie Havens
According to, Havens -- a leading voice in the folk rock movement who gained his greatest fame as the opening act at the Woodstock festival in 1969 -- died today at age 72 of a heart attack.

Havens had a powerful voice that identified not only him but an era as well.  It rang out with the opening tunes of Woodstock, and in venues ranging in size from Max Yasgur's farm to concert halls to coffeehouses, he performed music with the edge of protest, wanting wrongs to be righted.  His music was punctuated by the way he'd play an acoustic guitar.  His rhythmic style was as powerful on guitar as the force that came through in his voice.

See Richie Havens' biography at Wikipedia

He cracked the charts with covers of Beatles tunes such as "Here Comes The Sun," but his impact on the music world will be felt for a very long time beyond those charts.  It was timeless music, reaching beyond any "hits."  His impact will come from the emotion he poured out behind a microphone, a guitar propped on his lap, giving everyone who watched him performing on a stage or listened to him through a stereo a strong taste of ... freedom.

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