August 13, 2019:


Bert Sommer is one of the many Woodstock performers whose fame has not endured after 50 years, and that’s a story worth telling too.


Long Island's Bert Sommer


Sommer was the perfect poster boy for Woodstock. The 20-year-old singer-songwriter from Long Island, was hard to miss. A Tim Buckley lookalike, he sported shoulder-length curly hair, a headband, bare feet and a voice like a dove’s.

Despite being involved in two of the most famous counterculture events of the ’60s — Hair and Woodstock, and despite having a standing ovation and a 10-song set at Woodstock, Sommer’s songs were left off the Woodstock Movie, records, cd’s and DVD’s.

However, there’s good news: In 2005, producing partners Andy Zax and Brian Kehew came across the Woodstock recordings in the Warner Brothers Vault. For the 50th Anniversary, they put together the 38-disc box set Woodstock 50 — Back to the Garden — The Definitive 50th Anniversary Archive (Rhino Records). It includes every note of music played at the festival (save for three songs) — including, on the 38-CD box, all of Sommer’s songs that were previously left off.

Here’s video of Sommer’s Woodstock performance:



Time Magazine recently covered his fascinating story. Here’s a link: https://time.com/5648246/woodstock-bert-sommer/

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