RICHIE HAVENS’ ICONIC LEGACY CONTINUES WITH TWO NEW RECORDS, “…HIS LAST SONGS”, AND “MIXED BAG FOR KIDS”, TO BE RELEASED BY CEN/SHARING WORLD ENTERTAINMENT ON 10/29
Richie Havens is gifted with one of the most recognizable voices in popular music. His fiery, poignant, always soulful singing style has remained unique and ageless since he first emerged from the Greenwich Village folk scene in the early 1960s – the coffee house era. It’s a voice that has inspired and electrified audiences from the Woodstock Music & Arts Fair in 1969, at which he was the opening performer, to the Clinton Presidential Inauguration in 1993, and coming full circle with the 30th Woodstock Anniversary celebration, “A Day In The Garden,” in 1999.
Sadly, the legendary singer/songwriter/performer/education advocate and humanitarian passed away earlier this year on April 22 at the age of 72, but his voice and his music, which he used to convey messages of brotherhood and personal freedom, will live on forever. From 2006 to 2009, before he was in failing health, Havens was recording, as he did throughout his life, in a studio at City College in Harlem, and completed two records. Now, CEN/Sharing World Entertainment, (the latter is the company he co-founded in 2007), are proud to announce the release of ” …His Last Songs”, a record of beloved covers, and his first and only children’s album, “Mixed Bag For Kids”, on October 29.
While Havens released more than twenty-five albums, and maintained a very demanding tour schedule, throughout his career, he felt his calling to be a higher one. As he told the “Denver Post”, “I really sing songs that move me. I’m not in show business, I’m in the communications business. That’s what it’s about for me.” On “…His Last Songs” that’s exactly what he has done, covering seven American classics including Johnny Nash’s “I Can See Clearly Now”, Simon & Garfunkel’s “59th Street Bridge Song”, the Louis Armstrong staple “What A Wonderful World,” Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds” and “The Greatest Love of All”, the soaring anthem made famous by Whitney Houston.
Stream Richie’s version of “I Can See Clearly Now”:
Ever on key to a brighter future, Havens became an advocate for children’s literacy and education and in 1975 he recorded four songs for the sixth season of “Sesame Street”, all of which were captured in one day of filming. Around this time he co-founded the Northwind Undersea Institute, an oceanographic children’s museum on City Island in the Bronx, which in turn led to the creation of The Natural Guard, an organization Richie described as “a way of helping kids learn that they can have a hands-on role in affecting the environment.”
In 2007, he and Kyle Morris founded Sharing World Entertainment to develop and market a combination Book/CD titled “Mixed Bag for Kids” that focused on using music, lyrics and activities to engage children with their peers, older siblings and adults in improving reading skills. Richie had previously teamed with Kyle, the co-inventor of ReadSpeak, an audio/visual technology that displays animated captions adjacent to the speaker’s mouth, and brought the role of Mister Word Wizard to life in a “visible language” TV pilot geared towards literacy, learning, and human understanding. Keeping in character, Richie also headlined a sing-along, preschool pilot utilizing “Mother Goose” songs, the lyrics warmly ‘coming alive’ with a voice all their own.
On “Mixed Bag For Kids”, the two new mini-albums feature a duet with Kris Kristofferson on a cover of Woody Guthrie’s “Grassy, Grass, Grass”, in addition to original songs by Leah Sarah Price (“Welcome to My Castle”; “Did You Know”, which was co-written Havens; “Sharing”; “See it Said”; “It’s Better Together”), as well one by Patrick Noth (“Kid Hop Rhyme”).
Stream the track “Kid Hop Rhyme”:
As the dedication for “Mixed Bag For Kids” proclaims, “A legend to millions-a friend forever-his concert-worn guitar attuned to humanity’s pulse, beloved singer/songwriter/performer, and literacy advocate, Richie Havens, has been entertaining and enlightening audiences of all ages for generations. And so we dedicate this musical mixed bag to Richie, our colleague and inspiration who, with his soaring voice and sharing heart, continues to fly out of rainbows and over the stars, bringing out the best in all of us!”