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Richie Havens

300px|right|thumb|At 1969 Woodstock Festival Richie Havens (born January 21 1941 in Brooklyn, New York) is an African American folk singer and guitarist. Havens is best known for his performance at the Woodstock Festival, his soulful covers of pop and folk songs and his intense rhythm guitar style.

Havens first rose to fame in the Greenwich Village folk music scene that also fostered Joan Baez and Bob Dylan. In 1967 Havens became one of several Village-based artists signed to Verve records and released several albums to mostly local notice. In 1969, Havens opened the Woodstock festival. His performance received continuous ovations and kept playing encores until he ran out of songs. Finally, he decided to improvise a version of "Motherless Child" to which he added a verse with the word "Freedom" repeated over and over; the song was featured in the Woodstock film and became an international hit. Havens followed up this success with the 1971 release of Alarm Clock, which featured a popular rendition of George Harrison's "Here Comes the Sun". For a brief period in the mid-seventies, Havens performed with Peter Yarrow a...

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