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Richie Havens was voice of an era, raised social issues with his music

In this May 1, 2008 file photo, Richie Havens plays at the opening night ceremony during the 61st International film festival in Cannes, France. Havens, who sang and strummed for a sea of people at Woodstock, died Monday at 72. (Jeff Christensen/The Associated Press)
In this May 1, 2008 file photo, Richie Havens plays at the opening night ceremony during the 61st International film festival in Cannes, France. Havens, who sang and strummed for a sea of people at Woodstock, died Monday at 72. (Jeff Christensen/The Associated Press)
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People who experienced Woodstock through the lens of the 1970 documentary film “Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace & Music” can describe every contour of Richie Havens’ face. With focused eyes and a scraggly beard, the singer, songwriter, guitarist and activist, who died on Monday at age 72, is ingrained in a generation’s memory. In the film and on record, you can hear the mantra that he offered echo across Max Yasgur’s farm, and that message ...


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