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Published on Jul 24, 2010
Sweetwater was a rock band originally from Los Angeles. They were the act scheduled to play first at the Woodstock Festival in 1969, although due to problems within the band, solo folksinger Richie Havens became the first performer. Sweetwater performed next, becoming the first band to play the festival.
Sweetwater were early developers of the psychedelic rock/fusion style that was popularized by Jefferson Airplane to be regarded as the archetype "60s Sound". In 1968-69, the band often toured with The Doors. They were also one of the opening acts for Eric Burdon & The Animals in 1968. One of their best-known recordings is a version of the traditional folk song "Motherless Child".
The original members of the band were Nancy Nevins (lead vocals/guitar), August Burns (cello), Albert Moore (flute/backing vocals), Alan Malarowitz (drums), Elpidio Cobian (conga drums), Alex Del Zoppo (keyboards) and Fred Herrera (bass).
Three days after Sweetwater performed on The Red Skelton Show (December 1969), singer Nancy "Nansi" Nevins was severely injured in a car accident, which stopped the progress of the band. Due to the accident, Nancy experienced brain damage for a number of years following the collision, and permanent damage to one of her vocal cords.
The group reunited for Woodstock '94 in 1994 with three original members - Nevins, Herrera and Del Zoppo. August Burns died in the 80s, Alan Malarowitz was killed in a car crash near 1981, Albert Moore died of pneumonia in 1994. Elpedio Cobian works as a film statist. In 1999, the story of the band was depicted in a VH1 TV-movie called Sweetwater: A True Rock Story. Amy Jo Johnson portrayed Nancy Nevins, while Michelle Phillips portrayed a much older Nancy.