woodstock | WAMC


Leslie West
Bill Tompkins / Getty Images/guitar.com

Leslie West, best known as a founding member and co-lead vocalist of the hard rock band Mountain, has died at the age of 75. 

Joe Donahue spoke with West in 2009 and we re-share that interview now, in memoriam. 

Book covers for the books listed below on this page
Various publisher websites

  Jacqueline Kellachan and James Conrad from The Golden Notebook in Woodstock, NY joins us with this week's Book Picks.

The Cold Millions" by Jess Walter
"Right Place, Right Time: The Life of a Rock and Roll Photographer" by Bob Gruen
"Memorial" by Bryan Washington
"She Come By It Natural: Dolly Parton and The Women Who Lived Her Sings" by Sarah Smarsh
"White Ivy" by Susie Yang
"150 Glimpses of The Beatles" by Craig Brown
"All the Broken People" by Leah Konen
"Everything Comes Next - Collected & New Poems" by Naomi Shihab Nye

The Woodstock Film Festival is announcing its 2020 lineup of screenings and events that will be held virtually and at area drive-ins, including a pop-up drive-in at Andy Lee Field in Woodstock.

The 21st annual festival is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 30, through Sunday, Oct. 4. This year's festival will be a "reformatted virtual edition," due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with in-person screenings limited to drive-in venues in Woodstock, Greenville and Poughkeepsie.

Festival Executive Director and Co-founder Meira Blaustein joins us this morning to tell us more. 


  Jacqueline Kellachan from The Golden Notebook in Woodstock, NY joins us with this week's Book Picks.

"Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents" by Isabel Wilkerson
"Belabored: A Vindication for the Rights of Pregnant Women" by Lyz Lenz
"Intimations" by Zadie Smith
"The City We Became: A Novel" by NK Jemisin
"Deacon King Kong" by James McBride
"Remain in Love: Talking Heads, Tom-Tom Club, Tina" by Chris Frantz
"My Best Friend" by Julie Fogliano and Jilian Tamaki

  James Conrad from The Golden Notebook in Woodstock, NY joins us with this week's Book Picks.

"Reservoir Year: A Walker's Book of Days" by Nina Shengold
"The End of October" by Lawrence Wright
"The Men in my Life: A Memoir of Love and Art in 1950s Manhattan" by Patricia Bosworth
"Pelosi" by Molly Ball
"Rodham" by Curtis Sittenfeld
"Real Life" by Brandon Taylor
"The Splendid and the Vile" by Erik Larson

   Jacqueline Kellachan from The Golden Notebook in Woodstock, NY joins us with this week's Book Picks.

"Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You" by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
"Hands on The Freedom Plow: Personal Accounts by Women in SNCC" edited by Judy Richardson, Betty Gaman Robinson and others...
"The Fire Is Upon Us: James Baldwin, William F. Buckley Jr. And The Debate Over Race in America" by Nicholas Buccola
"No Visible Bruises: What We Don't Know About Domestic Violence Can Kill Us" by Rachel Louise Snyder
"Recollections of My Nonexistence" by Rebecca Solnit
"Long Bright River" by Liz Moore

Dr. James Hansen

**We weren't able to conduct the scheduled interview with Dr. James Hansen but leave this post on our site to provide information about the summit.**

The Woodstock Day School and the Ashokan Center have teamed up to co-sponsor The Youth Empowerment & Sustainability Summit (YESS!); a global climate solution and leadership summit for young people who are ready to change their lives and their communities by working towards climate resilience.

The three-day summit is designed to empower students from middle school through college by teaching them to develop solutions-based thinking and civic engagement skills.

Dr. James Hansen, the renowned climate scientist who was among the first to sound the alarm of global climate change.

He delivered the summit’s keynote address this morning at Ashokan Center and tonight he’ll present a “Catskill Conversations” talk sponsored by the Ashokan Center at Kingston High School at 7 p.m. Tonight’s talk is open to the public.

Women's Marches Set For D.C., NYC And Beyond

Jan 18, 2020

The Women’s March on Washington takes place Saturday, and there are sister marches and events throughout the U.S. as well as across the globe. As WAMC’s Allison Dunne tells us, there are some scheduled in the Hudson Valley.

The New Pornographers and album cover for "In the Morse Code of Brake Lights"
Ebru Yildiz

Indie-rock band The New Pornographers will play the Hunter Center at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA on Thursday, November 14. Their new album, "In the Morse Code of Brake Lights," was released in September and is receiving critical acclaim and Billboard chart success.

Carl Newman joins us. In addition to Newman, current band members are Kathryn Calder, Neko Case, John Collins, Todd Fancey, Joe Seiders, Simi Stone, and Blaine Thurier.

The New Pornographers have previously released seven studio albums including their most recent, 2017’s Whiteout Conditions. The first album released on their own imprint, Collected Works Records, in partnership with Concord Records. 

Wallace Norman is directing the Performing Arts of Woodstock production of Will Eno’s "The Realistic Joneses." The play takes place in the rural Southwest.

Shortly after one couple moves into town, they meet their neighbors who share the same last name. As their lives intertwine they learn that they share much more as the two couples struggle to survive in their imperfect worlds.

The show will runs at the Mescal Hornbeck Community Center in Woodstock, New York from November 15 through December 1.

Janis Joplin has passed into legend as a brash, impassioned soul doomed by the pain that produced one of the most extraordinary voices in rock history. But in her new biography, “Janis: Her Life and Music,” Holly George-Warren provides a deep portrait of a woman who wasn’t all about suffering.

The Woodstock Film Festival will present the world premiere screening of "Parkland Rising," executive produced by Katie Couric and will.i.am, at the upcoming 20th anniversary film festival October 2-6.

The documentary, directed by two-time Emmy Award winner Cheryl Horner McDonough, follows the high-school students and families who became fierce leaders of the national movement for gun reform after the February 2018 shooting of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Florida.

On Friday, October 4 Manuel Oliver, father of Parkland victim Joaquin Oliver, will produce a mural in the center of Woodstock, New York that will combine psychedelic vibes, street art, and activism with a strong statement from Joaquin. Manuel Oliver joins us now.

Manuel and Patricia Oliver are the founders of Change the Ref, a foundation formed to empower our future leaders.

Dozens of Hudson Valley lawmakers and gun violence prevention advocates gathered Thursday to sign a panel from the original 1969 Woodstock stage. As WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne reports, the signing was in support of federal gun reform laws, and the panel will be headed on the road.

The Woodstock Film Festival’s 20th Anniversary will be taking place from October 2–6 in Woodstock, Rhinebeck, Kingston, Saugerties, and Rosendale, New York.

Widely acknowledged for showcasing passionate, creative and thought-provoking work by some of today's most promising and accomplished independent filmmakers, this year’s festival will showcase more than 50 features from around the world, as well as many short films, and will include panels, live performances, and other special events.

The festival has become one of the foremost regional independent film festivals. Establishing itself as a ground-breaking festival that offers a unique platform for filmmakers around the globe, the Woodstock Film Festival has been named among the top 50 film festivals worldwide.

WFF's Co-Founder and Executive Director Meira Blaustein joins us for a preview.

Courtesy of Peace of Stage

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America along with dozens of state, county and local Hudson Valley lawmakers are gathering in Westchester County this afternoon to sign a panel from the original 1969 Woodstock stage.

In celebration of Norman Rockwell Museum’s 50th Anniversary, they are looking back at the many ways illustrators portrayed news events and reflected popular culture in 1969. Norman Rockwell’s own work reflected the changing times with his iconic depiction of the moon landing, an album cover he painted for rock musicians, and a tribute to the final issue of The Saturday Evening Post.

The exhibition, "Woodstock to the Moon: 1969 Illustrated," combines original illustrations with vintage archival material. It will be on view at The Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts through October 27.

We learn more from Jesse Kowalski, Norman Rockwell’s Curator of Exhibitions as well as from Louis Mitchell, the Creative Director of Character Design at Sesame Street’s Sesame Workshop. There are many items from the Sesame Street in the exhibition.

The Woodstock Film Festival will present the world premiere screening of the new documentary "Parkland Rising," executive produced by Katie Couric and will.i.am, at the upcoming 20th anniversary film festival, on October 4.

The documentary from Gigantic Productions, directed by two-time Emmy Award winner Cheryl Horner McDonough, follows the high-school students and families who became fierce leaders of the national movement for gun reform after the February 2018 shooting of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Florida.

Katie Couric began her journalism career as an assistant at the ABC network. She went on to report for NBC, eventually becoming co-anchor of Today and sole anchor of the CBS evening News. She heads Katie Couric Media, her production company which centers around scripted and non-scripted projects that are committed to creating smart, trustworthy, relatable content that aims to tell the stories that she believes need to be brought to awareness.

The Dirt Farmer Festival 2019 will have shows at Levon Helm Studios on September 6 and 7, bringing Dirt Farmer Fest artists, food, and craft vendors to Woodstock for two great nights! Amy Helm – Levon’s daughter – joins us this morning to tell us more.

Amy Helm will also be at FreshGrass at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA on Friday, September 20.

The Drum Boogie Festival is a free, family-oriented, multi-cultural, one-day music festival that celebrates diverse styles of music, dance and voice from around the world. This year’s Drum Boogie Festival will take place on Saturday, September 7 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Andy Lee Field in Woodstock, New York.

The festival brings together world-class talent and introduces audiences to a variety of styles involving percussion such as: Jazz, Japanese Traditional Taiko, African, Brazilian, Reggae, Classical, Steel Pan and more! This year’s festival includes Jack DeJohnette, NEXUS, So Percussion and Paul Winter among many others.

Garry Kvistad, Executive Director of the Drum Boogie Festival (Founder/CEO of Woodstock Chimes and NEXUS member) joins us this morning along with Seven-time Grammy winner Paul Winter.

Courtesy of Bethel Woods Center for the Arts

The 50th Anniversary of Woodstock is here. Thursday evening, at the site of the original festival, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts is showing Academy Award-winning documentary “Woodstock: The Director's Cut.”

A man in a green Woodstock shirt stands behind a colorful flag celebrating the festival's 50th anniversary on a lawn
Josh Landes / WAMC

A Pittsfield, Massachusetts man is taking to the airwaves for the first time to celebrate Woodstock’s 50th anniversary.

The opening ceremony of Woodstock in August 1969.
Mark Goff, public domain

A lot of words have been written and spoken this year about the 50th anniversary of the Woodstock music festival, which — despite the odds — got started Aug. 15, 1969. Over the years, many participants and organizers of the “Aquarian exposition” that brought hundreds of thousands of fans to upstate New York have shared their memories of the experience here on WAMC. 

The "Woodstock: Three Days That Defined A Generation" poster
"Woodstock: Three Days That Defined A Generation"

America has been looking back on some of the major milestones of 1969 this year. 50 years on, the impact of the moon landing in July and the Woodstock festival in August is still being felt. The three days of peace and music in upstate New York could have been a disaster, with an unready site, untested promoters, and nearly half a million people. Instead, it came and went without any major emergencies — and left some landmark music in its wake.

Woodstock 50

Woodstock 50 is officially canceled.

The 88th Annual Woodstock Library Fair will take place this Saturday, July 27 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. The family-friendly event will feature food, music, fun, and a book sale in the Barn.

Michael Hunt, President of The Friends of the Woodstock Library and Devon Hunt, President of the Junior Friends join us now to tell us all about the event.

Woodstock 50 Hits More Roadblocks

Jul 22, 2019

Woodstock 50 organizers have again been denied a permit to hold a three-day anniversary festival at an upstate New York horse track.

The Secret City Art Revival in Woodstock, New York is a weekend of art, community and celebration throughout the town. This year’s event is entitled “Back to The Garden.”

Events take place July 25-28 and include parties, concerts, puppeteer-led hat-making; house events that include poetry readings, jazz house concerts, site-specific dances, art salons; brunch, karaoke, a Community Processional and – the culminating event – The Artistic Tent Revival.

The Secret City is an Obie Award winning arts organization that programs regularly in New York, Los Angeles, and Woodstock with guest appearances in other parts of the country and a weekly radio show in Kingston, New York.

We are joined by Secret City Founding Artistic Director Chris Wells and Lead designer of the Sunday processional and the Sunday revival Nancy Geaney.

  Jacqueline Kellachan from The Golden Notebook in Woodstock, NY joins us with this week's Book Picks.

"Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace and Music" by Michael Lang - Event with Michael Lang on July 5, 7 p.m. at Emerson Resort and Spa
"The Road To Woodstock" by Michael Lang and Holly-George Warren
"Woodstock 50 Years of Peace and Music" by Daniel Bukszpan and Amalie Rothschild - event July 6 at 1 p.m.
"Back To The Garden: The Story of Woodstock and How It Changed A Generation" by Pete Fornatale
"Barefoot in Babylon: The Creation of The Music Festival" by Bob Fitz
"Woodstock Vision" by Elliott Landy
"Small Town Talk" by Barney Hoskyns
"This Wheel’s On Fire" by Levon Helm
"Never Look Back" by Alison Gaylin - event July 20, 2 p.m.
"My Life As A Rat" by Joyce Carol Oates - event July 23, 5 p.m.
"The Story of Jane: The Legendary Underground Abortion Service" by Laura Kaplan

The Woodstock Film Festival takes place in the fall at venues in several towns in New York’s Hudson Valley. This year marks the festival’s 20th Anniversary and festival organizers are offering more year-round programming than ever before.

Meira Blaustein is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Woodstock Film Festival and she joins us to tell us about The 7th Annual Taste of Woodstock on May 22, The Diverse Voices in Film & Media Panel on June 1, and the solar-powered outdoor screening of “Happening: A Clean Energy Revolution" and “Growing with the Grain” on June 14.

According to author Mark Berger, Woodstock was the sixties condensed into seventy-two hours, and proof that peace and love could turn a potential disaster into a mythic celebration of life. Berger tells of that time in his memoir, "Something's Happening Here: A Sixties Odyssey from Brooklyn to Woodstock."

Arriving four days early, he helped set up kitchens and paths. During the festival, he worked to calm kids tripping out on bad acid, maneuvered a water truck through a sea of spectators, and fell in love, twice. After the festival, it’s decision time: Does he Berger drop out and move to a commune in New Mexico or return to Brooklyn and become a teacher? For Berger, at Woodstock it all comes together ― who he is, what he believes, and which path he has to take.

Berger will be reading from his book at The Book House in Albany, New York on May 16.