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Goodbye Richie Havens


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Why eulogize a folk singer on TCMs messageboard? Because he is responsible for creating the single most enthralling, powerful moment I have ever seen on film. His passionate opening number at Woodstock, which I have just learned was an improvisation, was mesmerizing. I first saw Woodstock on a big screen and had no idea what I was in for. The rest of the movie was fine, and the other acts were great, but none compared to him. I don't know anything about his career aside form this, but is its enough for me to consider him a great musician. So wherever you are Richie Havens, if you are anywhere, Godspeed.

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Swithin, I have a feeling you may have the same memories I have. I was lucky enough to have seen Ritchie Havens many times in the village, Cafe Wha, the Village Gate, the Bitter End. I saw him there before and after he recorded his first album. Many of the artists then performed in the village. Phil Ochs was a favorite of mine. Saw Jimi Hendrix many times. I remember one Hendrix concert at Hunter College and I think I probably saw Ritchie Havens there also. I still have all their albums. Saw Ritchie Havens many times at the Filmore East. Do you remember all the summer concerts in Central Park? I know I saw Ritchie Havens there many times. Nothing today could compare to those years in NY. RIP Mr. Havens.

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