Where Romance and History Meet - www.heartsthroughhistory.com/

Monday, August 15, 2011


by Debby Lee
Sometimes, with the most nonchalant of actions, people make history and they don’t even realize it. Forty-two years ago today, thousands of people walked on to a humble dairy farm in upstate New York, and did just that. They made history.
They traveled from the farthest corners of America in psychedelic buses and Volkswagen Beatles to sway to the rhythm of the music. While most people know about one of the greatest rock concerts of the 20th century, many may not know all the interesting facts behind the story. Here are a few.
-Woodstock was originally scheduled to be held in Wallkill New York. The city got nervous and backed out on a technicality at the last minute. Because of this, the concert nearly didn’t take place.
- In April of 1969, Credence Clearwater Revival was the first band to sign on and agree to play at the concert.
-The first performer on stage was Ritchie Havens who began on Friday. He wasn’t scheduled to be first but many musicians were stuck in traffic and were unable to arrive on time. Jimi Hendrix was the last performer who wrapped things up on Monday.
-The concert actually took place closer to the town of Bethel and not the town of Woodstock as many people might assume. Bethel is 43 miles from Woodstock.
-The cost of attending Woodstock for three days was 18 dollars. Tickets were sold in advance. Many people attended for free due to a combination of overcrowding and unprepared concert organizers.
-The Who had the longest play list with 24 songs. The Quill had the shortest with a performance of only one song.
-Charles Schultz is said to have named one of his Peanuts characters Woodstock, in honor of the music festival.
-Max Yasger died of a heart attack in 1973. He received a full page obituary in Rolling Stone magazine for his contribution to music. A rare honor indeed. Thank you Mr. Yasger.
I would have loved to have attended the music and arts festival of the century, but I was only three years old at the time. I missed out on the peace, the love and the camaraderie, and yes, the mud, the cold and the hunger too. But sometimes great moments are a combination of hitting the high notes with perfect pitch and playing off key in a tone deaf band.
So, next time life throws some glitches into your melody, try to learn something from the experience and love your brothers in the process. You never know, you just might be making history.

Thank you for taking the time to stroll down memory lane with me. I hope you enjoyed the journey. Look for my short story, Butterflies Are Free, coming soon from Books to Go Now. Feel free to visit my newly updated web site at booksbydebbylee.com

Question of the day. How many Woodstock performers can you name? Hint: a few are named in the article. Answer the question in the comment section of the blog and be entered to win a Woodstock button (not from the actual festival) and a copy of my short story Butterflies Are Free, when it comes out.


Ashlyn Macnamara said...

I'm too young to have attended Woodstock, too. I was 5 that year. My older brother and sister were dying to go, but my parents wouldn't let them.

Woodstock perfomers: You've named CCR, the Who and Jimi Hendrix. One you didn't name is Country Joe and the Fish.

Katy Lee said...

Loved strolling with you down memory lane. Great factoids too! I feel like I'm a little wiser already.

Um, as for musicians, I can only guess. How about, Santana, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and Janis Joplin?????

Oh, wait, my husband wants to jump in here and give his two cents. He wonders if Eric Clapton was there and Cream?

Anonymous said...

This would have been my siblings' dream come true...but I was just 4 at the time!

Debby Lee said...

Hi Ashlyn, Katy and Tess, thanks so much for posting today. Hope you enjoyed the article.
@ Ashlyn, yes Country Joe and the Fish were there.
@ Katy, yes Santana, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, and Janis Joplin were there. But according to research, Eric Clapton and Cream were not there.
For more info, go to woodstockstory.com
Thanks agsin for posting.

Janette Harjo said...

Some Woodstock performers? Ritchie Havens, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, The Quill, Credence Clearwater Revival, country Joe McDonald, John Sebastian, Melanie, Arlo Guthrie, Joan Baez, Santana, Greatful Dead, Janis Joplin, Sly and the Family Stone,Jefferson Airplane, Joe Cocker, Blood, Sweat and Tears, Johnny Winter, Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, LOL! OK. I did some research. ;) But I WANNA be in your CONTEST! I was too young to be able to go, too. :(

Great Article!

Lavada Dee said...

Your website looks great Debbie. I didn't take you for a Woodstock fan. lol

Debby Lee said...

Thanks Janette and Lavada for stopping by. Janette, great research on who performed at Woodstock. There were a lot of musicians who "were not" there but many people think they were. The Beatles and The Byrds to name two. Thanks again ladies.

bjvitamin said...

Richie Havens
Sweetwater >
Bert Sommer
Tim Hardin >
Ravi shankar >
Melanie >
Arlo Guthrie >
Joan Baez >
Day 2: Saturday, August 16 1969

Country Joe McDonald
John B. Sebastian
Keef Hartley Band
Incredible String Band
Canned Heat
Grateful Dead
Leslie West & Mountain
Creedence Clearwater Revival >
Janis Joplin
Sly & The Family Stone
The Who
Jefferson Airplane
Day 3: Sunday, August 17 1969

Joe Cocker
Country Joe & The Fish
Ten Years After
Johnny Winter
Blood Sweat And Tears
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
Day 4: Monday, August 18 1969

Paul Butterfield Blues Band
Sha Na Na
Jimi Hendrix That's the list bjvitam@yahoo.com