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Born on January 21, 1941, in Brooklyn, New York, American folk singer Richie Havens is indelibly linked to the Woodstock generation. After starting out performing in neighborhood doo-wop and gospel groups, Havens moved to Greenwich Village, where he picked up the guitar and started performing in coffee houses. Havens was as passionate about poetry as he was about music. As the Beatnik culture began to claim Greenwich Village as its home, Havens desperately wanted to be right in the thick of things. In 1961, Havens, who'd spent almost of all his life inside Brooklyn's borders, was getting to know the Village scene. He began scratching out a living by painting portraits, hanging around coffee shops and listening to as much music as he could. "The songs really changed my life," he later said. In 1967, Havens released Mixed Bag, which featured a popular version of Bob Dylan's "Just Like a Woman," among other covers. His style of play—open chords, strumming hard on the guitar so that it became essentially a percussion instrument—anchored his appeal. Havens's follow-up album, 1968's Something Else Again, was his first album to climb into the Billboard charts, and helped pushed him to the masses. A year later, his double-album, Richard P. Havens, continued the momentum Havens's 1971 album, Alarm Clock, cracked the Top 30 and featured a stunning cover of the Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun." "I really sing songs that move me. I'm not in show business," Havens once said of his career. "I'm in the communications business. That's what it's about for me." Richie Havens died of a heart attack on April 22, 2013, at the age of 72.

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What Have We Done 274 Views  added by jeffkauf
2 years ago

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