Richie Havens opens the Woodstock Music & Art Festival in August 1969.
[/caption]Folk singer Richie Havens, the opening act at the 1969 Woodstock music festival, died Monday of a sudden heart attack, his publicist said. He was 72. Havens, who retired three years ago, toured for more than 30 years and recorded 30 albums.
After Havens, a Brooklyn, New York, native, gained attention at Woodstock, he recorded a soulful-voiced cover of the Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun,” which rose on the pop charts in 1970. Havens returned to Woodstock for the 40th anniversary festival in 2009. Here’s an interview we did with Bree Perlman hosting for Austin Daze Magazine in 2009. Havens was personable, engaging, and gave us a gracious amount of his time to talk about the beginnings in Greenwich Village, New York.