Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A CSNY Double Play For The Centennial CD

Suggestions are continuing to flow into me about songs to include (from the late 1960s and early '70s) for our VU Centennial Class CD to be played at our 40th Reunion Party on Friday, October 4.

In this blog post we feature recordings by one of the first super groups of the late '60s, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. It's a quartet which featured members of several top rock groups: The Byrds (Crosby), The Buffalo Springfield (Stills and Young) and the Hollies (Nash).

The result was music magic with one of the group's first performances coming at the legendary Woodstock Festival in mid-August, 1969 (just a few weeks before we came to Vanderbilt)

The first CSNY song we want to feature (requested by Janet Schneider) is SUITE: JUDY BLUE EYES. It was written by Stephen Stills.  According to Wikipedia, it is, on the one hand, a suite of short songs  placed together in the classical mode. But the first part of the song title could also be spelled SWEET, referring to Still's then-girlfriend renowned singer/ songwriter Judy Collins. She was known for her piercing blue eyes. The song also seems to mirror the duo's imminent breakup when the piece was written and recorded in 1969. It reached as high as #21 on the BILLBOARD HOT 100 pop singles chart and is still ranked #426 by ROLLING STONE Magazine on its 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Here courtesy of You Tube, is a rendition of the song as it was performed at Woodstock and seen later in the feature length movie of the same name....

Our second CSNY song for this blog posting also concerns the Woodstock Festival and it is perhaps the song most directly identified with that historic event. It's called WOODSTOCK and it was written by singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell. It outlines what happened at the festival although ironically Mitchell was not there. She had been scheduled to perform but decided instead to appear on THE DICK CAVETT SHOW. According to Wikipedia, she says she wrote the song based on what she heard from her then-boyfriend Graham Nash and from watching news reports while in her New York City hotel room. Recently I heard her say in a public radio interview that there was no way she could have written the song the way she did had she actually been at Woodstock that weekend. Here, courtesy of YouTube is a CSNY tribute performance of WOODSTOCK dedicated to Max B. Yasgur, the man who owned the farm in upstate New York where Woodstock was held.....

WOODSTOCK was a  significant hit on the charts for CSNY reaching #11 on the BILLBOARD HOT 100 in 1970. It was suggested for inclusion on our Centennial Class CD by Beth O'Shea.

Do you have a favorite '60s and early '70s song you want included/ Send me your suggestions on the Class of '73 Facebook page or at my e-mail address More to come soon!

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