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They were half a million strong

Richie Havens was the artist who opened that historic music festival.
Richie Havens was the artist who opened that historic music festival.
Original Cover: Atlantic/Cotillion Records

Record album by Various Artists: Woodstock Soundtrack (1970)

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Here’s why this album should be in your collection!

An Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace and Music (Also known as the Woodstock Festival) began for an estimated 400,000 fans on August 15, 1969 at Max Yasgur’s dairy farm in Bethel, NY.

Performing artists included the Who, Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Canned Heat, Janis Joplin, Sly & The Family Stone, Joe Cocker, Richie Havens, and Joan Baez.

Woodstock is also famous for the artists who weren’t there. The Beatles had simply stopped performing live. Stars like the Byrds, Doors, Frank Zappa, and Led Zeppelin dismissed Woodstock as a minor concert. Legendary promoter Bill Graham prevented Chicago from performing in order to showcase another band: Santana. The Moody Blues, Bob Dylan, and Joni Mitchell had scheduling conflicts. But The Band, Dylan’s touring group, did perform. So did Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young, who later scored a hit with Mitchell’s song about the festival.

Woodstock endures in pop culture. The 1970 documentary film won an Oscar, and the 1970 soundtrack album reached #1 on USA Pop charts. Anniversary festivals were held in 1989, 1994, and 1999. But the most enduring reference is to Snoopy’s best friend.

This album is available in vinyl, CD and MP3 format from major vendors. Please consider purchasing it from a local independent record store.

Here’s an interesting fact!

Roy Rogers declined an invitation to end the festival with a performance of “Happy Trails.” Jimi Hendrix played instead. His set included an historic rendition of the National Anthem.