Happy Birthday David Crosby: CSNY At Woodstock In 1969

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Legendary singer-songwriter and two-time Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame inductee David Crosby was born in Los Angeles on this date in 1941. The 78-year old musician first found fame as a member of the Byrds and then put together Crosby, Stills & Nash with Stephen Stills and Graham Nash. One year later, Neil Young joined and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young was formed. The quartet’s second live performance took place 50 years ago this Sunday at the famed Woodstock festival in Bethel, New York.

Crosby, Stills and Nash formed a bond over their sweet harmony singing, which they first showed off at party held in July 1968 at Joni Mitchell’s Laurel Canyon home. Graham wound up quitting The Hollies, David had parted ways with the Byrds and Stephen watched as Buffalo Springfield disintegrated so the trio went to work on an album of their own. They released Crosby, Stills & Nash in May 1969 and the trio scored hits with singles “Marrakesh Express” and “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes.” Crosby, Stills & Nash had a 39-date tour set to start in August 1969 and wanted to fill out their sound. Atlantic Records exec Ahmet Ertegün brought up the idea of Stephen’s former Buffalo Springfield band mate Neil Young and after some debate, CSNY was born.

The quartet along with bassist Greg Reeves and drummer Dallas Taylor made their live debut at Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre on August 16, 1969 and then headed to Woodstock. While CSNY’s set was scheduled for Sunday, torrential rain and stage issues delayed the start of the performance until Monday morning at 3 a.m. Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Sha Na Na and Jimi Hendrix were the only acts to play Woodstock after the CSNY set.

Crosby, Stills and Nash opened the hour-long set as a trio for performances of “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes,” “Blackbird,” “Helplessly Hoping,” “Guinnevere” and “Marrakesh Express.” All except the Beatles cover were from the trio’s studio album. Young joined for “4 + 20,” which was introduced as from the group’s next album. He also led his mates through “Mr. Soul” and “Wonderin'” before the acoustic portion of the performance ended with “You Don’t Have To Cry.”

The electric portion of the set began with “Pre-Road Downs” and continued with “Long Time Gone” and “Bluebird Revisited.” Young’s “Sea Of Madness” came next and was followed by “Wooden Ships.” CSNY encored at Woodstock with Stills’ “Find The Cost Of Freedom” – which would serve as the b-side of CSNY’s May 1970 single, “Ohio” – and “49 Bye-Byes.” The next night, Crosby and Stills appeared on The Dick Cavett Show.

Young wouldn’t devote too much time to CSNY over the years and the band only toured and performed occasionally. Crosby focused on his solo career and CSN. David has been extremely prolific of late as he released five albums between 2013 and 2018 and continues to tour extensively.

Listen to a portion of CSNY’s Woodstock performance below:

  • 0:00 Suite Judy Blue Eyes
  • 9:10 Blackbird
  • 12:10 Helplessly Hoping
  • 14:40 Guinevere
  • 20:40 Marrakesh Express
  • 23:28 4+20
  • 26:10 ……..
  • 31:22 Long Time Gone
  • 37:26 Sea of Madness
  • 41:31 Wooden Ships
  • 46:48 Cost of Freedom

Watch a few videos from CSNY’s set:

Long Time Gone Shared by buzzndbutter2020

Suite: Judy Blue Eyes Shared by mofromusic

Setlist

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young at Max Yasgur's Farm

Acoustic
  • Suite: Judy Blue Eyes  
  • Blackbird  
  • Helplessly Hoping  
  • Guinnevere  
  • Marrakesh Express  
  • 4 + 20  
  • Mr. Soul  
  • Wonderin'  
  • You Don't Have to Cry  
Electric
  • Pre-Road Downs  
  • Long Time Gone  
  • Bluebird Revisited  
  • Sea of Madness  
  • Wooden Ships  
Acoustic
  • Find the Cost of Freedom
  • 49 Bye-Byes  

Tour Dates for
David Crosby