Woodstock, NY—October 19, 2009—Weston Blelock and Julia Blelock, co-authors of Roots of the 1969 Woodstock Festival: The Backstory to “Woodstock” will be hosting a PowerPoint presentation and book signing at Barnes & Noble Booksellers, 1177 Ulster Ave., Kingston, NY on Friday, Oct 30, at 7 p.m. The book is a finalist in both the “Popular Culture” and “History: Media/Entertainment” categories of The National Best Books 2009 Awards.
Attendees of the upcoming presentation will learn why the festival was named Woodstock, and why it continues to be so closely associated with the town, even though the concert actually took place in Bethel, NY. The first part of the book features a transcript of a panel discussion that took place in August 2008 among townspeople—including Festival promoter Michael Lang—knowledgeable about the music scene in the late sixties. The second part of the book is a “roots of Woodstock” photo essay that chronicles the Arts and Crafts origins of the town, from its glass-making era in the 1800s to the founding of the Byrdcliffe colony in 1902. In addition, it details the town’s hallowed tradition of weekend-long music concerts, beginning in the early 1900s with Woodstock’s Maverick Festivals, and stretching up through the counter cultural Sound-Outs of the late 1960s.
According to Billboard, “For those [readers] wishing to know more about the upstate New York culture that gave rise to the Woodstock festival, [this book] examines the area’s burgeoning music scene, including the open air Sound-Out[s] that inspired Michael Lang’s festival concept.” ForeWord says that it “delves deeper into the background of the festival than any other recent title; and Midwest Book Review calls it “a thoughtful, profusely illustrated preserve of American history, highly recommended for lay readers and serious students of the Woodstock event alike.”
The book highlights the Woodstock exploits of artists, writers and performers such as Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Allen Ginsberg, Pete Seeger, and Richie Havens. Bob Fass, a Woodstock Sound-Out emcee and host of WBAI’s Radio Unnameable for more than forty years, contributed a brilliant and evocative foreword to the book. Also included are a compendium of important Woodstock players, a map of historic 1960s locations in the Woodstock area, and 115 images—many of them rare, vintage photos of the Woodstock music and art scenes.
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