Folk singer Richie Havens died of a heart attack on Apr. 22. He was best known for his riveting performance of "Freedom" at the Woodstock Festival in 1969. He was 72.
A year after Woodstock, I saw Havens at the Summer Festival for Peace at Shea Stadium. "Freedom" was highlight on that day as well. The crowd danced so hard the upper-deck tiers literally swayed to the music.
Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1941, Havens was drawn to the Greenwich Village folk scene in the late-'50s and early-'60s. The soulful folkie recorded a series of popular albums from 1965 to 1976, including Mixed Bag, Stonehenge and Alarm Clock. His version of the Beatles's "Here Comes the Sun" was a Top 20 hit in 1971.
Havens was a supporter of the marijuana cause, playing at rallies in New York during his long, illustrious career.