Reconstructing History: Listen to Woodstock Archivist Andy Zax in conversation with XPN’s Dan Reed

There’s Woodstock as it happened — the three-day music festival that took place in the summer of 1969 on a dairy farm in Bethel, New York, not too far from Scranton, Pennsylvania. And then there’s Woodstock the legend — the peace-and-love totem of the hippie generation, memorialized in Michael Wadleigh’s documentary film and two album releases over the course of the 70s.

As the 50th anniversary of Woodstock approaches this week and various commemorative celebrations are held — including #XPNStock, a set-by-set playback of the entire festival beginning on Thursday, August 15th at 5:07 p.m. — a new, massive collection of music seeks to parse the difference between the legend and the reality of Woodstock. Compiled by archivist Andy Zax over the past decade-plus, Woodstock – Back to the Garden: The Definitive 50th Anniversary Archive puts together every scrap of audio in the order it occurred, creating a more nuanced picture of the event than the less-than-accurate narrative of the film version.

Live Stream: Woodstock – As It Happened – 50 Years On

Ahead of #XPNStock, Zax caught up with XPN Program Director Dan Reed to discuss the project at length, beginning with the surprisingly difficult search for the most basic of information: set times.      Continue reading →


Aug 15 in Music History: Woodstock begins, Led Zeppelin release In Through the Out Door

Led Zeppelin In Through the Out Door


1955 – Elvis Presley signs a contract that names Colonel Tom Parker his “special advisor” with control over virtually every aspect of Elvis’ career. Parker is not really a Colonel at all, but a Dutch immigrant named Andreas Cornelius van Kujik, whose honorary title was given to him in 1948 by Governor Jimmie Davis of Louisiana. Parker’s pre-Elvis experience includes promoting carnival and medicine shows such as The Great Parker Pony Circus and Tom Parker And His Dancing Turkeys. His management of Presley becomes the defining role of masterminding talent management, which involves every facet of the client’s life and is seen as central to the success of Presley’s career.

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#TBTXPN: Watch 10 awesome videos of performances from Woodstock

Today’s #TBTXPN Throwback Thursday theme put the focus on the year 1969 in music. The galvanizing music event of the year was the Woodstock Music & Art Fair, held upstate New York in White Lake on a farm owned by Max Yasgur, the weekend of August 15-17, 1969. Hailed by Rolling Stone Magazine One of the 50 moments that changed rock and roll, approximately 400,000 attended the music festival. 28 bands played including Jimi Hendrix, The Who, The Band, the Grateful Dead, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Sly & The Family Stone, Richie Havens, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Joe Cocker, and others, and a three day pass was $18.00. Continue reading →