May 2019

The Legacy of Woodstock

Against the odds, a 1969 music festival continues to resonate in popular culture — for reasons that go well beyond the music.

National Standards: 7, 9

Prepare: Have the class read The Legacy of Woodstock (page 34 of the student edition). The article looks back over the culture and music of the famous Woodstock festival of 1969.

Key points in the article:

  • 2019 marks exactly 50 years since the festival happened in New York, and yet the impact continues to take effect today
  • Jimi Hendrix’s version of “The Star-Spangled Banner” was among the most legendary of performances
  • The festival was held amongst some of America’s most trying times including assassinations, urban riots, demonstrations for civil rights and protests
  • The festival became a symbol of love and unity across the country
  • Stars including Creedence Clearwater Revival, Joe Cocker, The Who and Santana played on stage
  • Many artists declined to perform because they doubted it would be much of a success, little did they know it became one of the most famous musical endeavors in American history
  • Woodstock didn’t actually happen in Woodstock, NY, but rather Bethel, N.Y.
  • Oscar-winning 1970 documentary, Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace and Music allows viewers to take a look into the festival

How to Experience Woodstock

Documentary Film: Woodstock: Three Days of Peace & Music – The Director’s Cut

Performance Film: Jimi Hendrix: Live at Woodstock

Festival Audio Recordings: Woodstock: Music from the Original Soundtrack and More; Woodstock 2; Jimi Hendrix: Live at Woodstock; Joe Cocker: Live at Woodstock; compilation featuring Santana, Janis Joplin, Johnny Winter, Jefferson Airplane, and Sly & the Family Stone: The Woodstock Experience

Museum: The Woodstock Museum at Bethel Woods: bethelwoodscenter.org