Richie Havens and George Jones: two great voices fall silent

April 27, 2013 at 2:11 pm (Jim D, music, RIP, song, Soul, United States)

1/ Richie Havens

• Richard Pierce Havens, folk singer and guitarist, born 21 January 1941; died 22 April 2013

Richie Havens, who has died of a heart attack aged 72, is best known for his opening performance at the historic 1969 Woodstock festival. He had been scheduled to go on fifth, but major traffic snarl-ups delayed many of the performers, so he was put on first and told to perform a lengthy set.

He entranced the audience for three hours, being called back time and again for encores. With his repertoire exhausted, he improvised a song based on the spiritual Motherless Child. This became Freedom, his best known song and an anthem for a generation (from the Graun‘s obituary)

2/ George Jones

• George Glenn Jones, country singer, born 12 September 1931; died 26 April 2013

George Jones, who has died aged 81, was country music’s most stylish and emotional singer. Less well-known outside the genre than his one-time wife Tammy Wynette, he had one of the finest voices of the 20th century. He was the king of honky-tonk, the raw electric country style, and was in a direct line from Ernest Tubb and Hank Williams (again from the Graun‘s obit, written in this case by Hank Wangford).

4 Comments

  1. Jim Denham said,

    What’s “Professor” Stanley Unwin doing introducing the Richie Havens Woodstock clip?

  2. Mick O said,

    Beats me Jim. I saw the Woodstock movie UK premiere and I don’t recall Unwin. He did feature on a Small Faces album in the 1960s so could have worked with others in the music business. Can’t explain this though.

    • Jim Denham said,

      You’re right, Mick:

      “But his defining moments were to come towards the end of the decade from two distinctly different movements – Psychedelia and Supermarionation. In 1968, he recorded the part of the Narrator on the 20-minute, six-track opus on Side Two of the Small Faces’ ground-breaking ‘Ogdens’ Nut Gone Flake’ album, and a year later, he starred playing himself and his own puppet in Gerry Anderson’s strangely overlooked ‘religious’ detective series ‘The Secret Service'”

      http://www.stanleyunwin.com/life_fame2.htm

  3. Matthew Blott said,

    I was a little sad upon hearing of the death of Havens a few days ago. He had terrific acoustic skills and a great voice and seemed like a really nice guy. Interesting fact: he revealed in one interview I watched that he had a British grandmother. Here’s my favourite of his, Johnny Handsome at Woodstock …

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 489 other followers

%d bloggers like this: