Music

The (Kind Of) Complete Woodstock: Sha Na Na

sha na na

Finally, after arriving early Friday to get a good place then  sitting through three days of rain, portable toilets, and stinky hippies your heroes take the stage: Sha Na Na.

For years I assumed that Sha Na Na played Friday thanks to their placement early in Wadleigh’s film.  I’m sure I’m not the only one.  But no, The Na, as nobody calls them, warmed up the crowd for Jimi Hendrix on Monday morning.

I am a child of the seventies, when Sha Na Na’s syndicated variety show was popular with people my parents’ age.  This plus their corny old-fashioned music made them pariahs in my eyes and ears.

Old-fashioned.  Even though their set consisted of songs that were only 10-12 years old (only six in the case of “Wipe Out”), Sha Na Na represented another era to what remained of the Woodstock crowd.  Looking back ten years from right now, Jay Z., U2, and New Pornographers all had albums out. In other words, not much has changed in the last ten years musically, but 1969 and 1959 are completely different epochs.

The crowd dug it.  You can even see Jimi smiling and looking a little baffled during “Teen Angel.”

Sha Na Na is still around. If you’re nostalgic for a nostalgia act you can visit them here: http://www.shanana.com/

Here’s the band’s complete Woodstock set list and where you can find official (and not so official) recordings:

  1. Get A Job (Woodstock 40 Years On: Back to Yasgur’s Farm (CD))
  2. Come Go With Me
  3. Silhouettes
  4. Teen Angel (Woodstock: The Director’s Cut – Ultimate Collector’s Edition (DVD))
  5. Jailhouse Rock
  6. Wipe Out (Youtube)
  7. Blue Moon
  8. (Who Wrote) The Book of Love (Youtube)
  9. Little Darling
  10. At The Hop (Woodstock 40 Years On: Back to Yasgur’s Farm (CD))
  11. Duke Of Earl (Youtube)
  12. Get A Job (Reprise) (Woodstock 40 Years On: Back to Yasgur’s Farm (CD))

Your official (and bootleg) Woodstock soundtrack song count to date: 201

Next week: Jimi Hendrix

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<<< Back to the Paul Butterfield Blues Band

6 replies »

  1. Really enjoying this series of articles.
    You’re right that Sha Na Na sounds like a totally different era to the likes of Hendrix. Love the guy’s gold jacket. I note from their website that they’ve since gone for a slightly more camp, but no less appealing, image.

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  2. I attended Woodstock (still have the unused tickets) and arrived Saturday late morning. We parked on some residents lawn and walked the 5 miles through the little village of Bethel to Festival Field. Comfortable sunny day with plenty of space to stretch and relax, but that changed as the day wore on. Our viewing position was to the right of the nearest speaker tower (looking out from the stage). We saw Country Joe, John Sebastian, Keef Hartley, Sha Na Na and then Santana. I have read that Sha Na Na played Monday morning before Hendrix. While that is true, they absolutely played before Santana on Saturday. I remember turning to my sister’s boyfriend and complaining why are we listening to Sha Na Na at Woodstock! And no, I wasn’t on drugs or drinking. I know what I saw and heard. So why is it I can’t find any Woodstock daily schedule that shows Sha Na Na performed on Saturday?? Funny thing, I have never met anyone else that actually attended Woodstock, that might verify my memory. I lost contact with my sister’s boyfriend years ago and my sister has only a vague recollection. Not me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s amazing, Jack, thanks for sharing. Given the difficulty the producers were having filling stage time, I wonder if Sha Na Na may have been shoved out on stage before Santana as a filler. That’s what happened to John Sebastian and Country Joe McDonald (without the Fish), after all.

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