Bert Sommer

Bert SommerFrom: Albany, NY, USA

Bert Sommer was an American folk singer, songwriter and artist. Sommer was born on February 7, 1949, and passed away on July 23, 1990 at the young age of 41. Sommer was self-taught on guitar and piano, and by his mid-teens, he was making a name for himself. For a brief period of time, Sommer was a member of the baroque-pop band the Left Bank, co-writing and singing lead on the “Ivy Ivy” / “And Suddenly” single released in 1967. He would also write a number of songs for the Vagrants.

In 1968, Sommer signed a contract with Capital Records, recording the album The Road to Travel with Artie Kornfeld. Sommer played at the Woodstock music festival in August 1969. He wrote the song “We’re All Playing in The Same Band” for and about the festival. The recording reached #48 on the Billboard Hot 100. Sommer also performed Paul Simon’s “America” at Woodstock, receiving a standing ovation for the performance. Although Sommer’s performance at Woodstock was well received, he was kept off of the album for the festival, as well as the accompanying documentary. It was not until 2009 that Sommer’s performance was released, marking the 40th anniversary of Woodstock.

In the original production of Hair in 1969-70, Sommer played the character of Woof. He would also play “Flatbush” of Kaptain Kool and the Kongs on the Krofft Supershow in 1976. However, Sommer did not return for the second season. Sommer passed away in July 1990, after a long battle with respiratory illness.

Artist information sources include: an article by Bruce Eder at Allmusic.com and Wikipedia

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Tracks played on Psychedelicized…

From the 1968 album The Road To Travel
Road to Travel, The

  • A Simple Man
  • Jennifer

From the 2009 album Woodstock 40 Years On: Back to Yasgur’s Farm
Woodstock 40 Years On Back to Yasgur's Farm

  • Jennifer [Live at Woodstock]