Rock Flashback: Richie Havens

Although [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Richie Havens[/lastfm] has scored but one top-40 hit, and that was over 40 years ago, he has continued to perform and record, and he has a legion of devoted fans. After the jump, listen to some of Richie Havens’ most famous songs.

In 1969, Havens was the first act to go on at the Woodstock Festival. He had planned to play four songs, but he ended up playing for over two hours. His performance of “Freedom” is justifiably famous, and the antiwar song “Handsome Johnny,” which appeared on his first album in 1967, is also terrific. But here he is doing “Strawberry Fields Forever.”


Havens’ lone top-40 hit was also a [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Beatles[/lastfm] cover: “Here Comes the Sun.” Make me say so, and I’ll tell you I prefer Havens’ version to the one on Abbey Road. Here’s a live TV performance from 1971.


Havens’ most recent album, released in 2008, is titled Nobody Left to Crown, which features the following lyric in its title song: “Home, home on the range/Where the fear and the antidotes play/Where seldom is heard an encouraging word/And our leaders do nothing all day.”


Richie Havens recently celebrated his 71st birthday.

Experience more Rock Flashbacks.

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