For almost three hours, while other musicians were stuck in traffic, Ritchie Havens played and played. He played until he ran out of songs, and then he improvised, riffing off the old spiritual "Motherless Child." That song became "Freedom". The anthem of a generation and Havens's signature.
Today, at 64, Richie Havens is still strumming hard. Still singing in that unmistakable, soulful voice. The boy who grew up in the tough Bedford-Stuyvesant streets of Brooklyn, son of a Native American father and black Caribbean mother, inspired a generation. Even the Dalai Lama tuned in.
Tune in for a conversation with the great Richie Havens, on his music and his message.
Richie Havens, musician. He has over twenty-five albums to his name. His new album is "Grace of the Sun."
This program aired on July 1, 2005.