Entertainment » vol. 13

The Pied Piper of Woodstock

The Life of Woodstock Creator Artie Kornfeld
By Rick Garner

The Pied Piper of Woodstock, a memoir by Woodstock creator and music industry veteran Artie Kornfeld, offers a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the historic rock festival and the creation of Woodstock Nation. Whether you attended the original Woodstock, heard about it from your parents, or are simply a fan of the true spirit of music, this book is a must-have.

Penned by music producer, composer, and Woodstock creator Artie Kornfeld, the book follows his career as one of the most influential men in the rock music industry. The book, which focuses on the strengths and weaknesses of the rock culture, includes photos from the legendary festival and Artie’s personal insight into one of rock’s most significant eras.

It is undeniable that Artie helped shape the rock ‘n’ roll music business into what it is today. As the “The Father of Woodstock,” he brought the sometimes harmonious, sometimes unavoidably misunderstood rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle into the public eye. He created the Woodstock Nation, a powerful congregation of progressive music-lovers striving to make a positive difference. But his efforts and influence began long before Woodstock.

Kornfeld was a music lover from the start and, with a job early on at the Charlotte Coliseum in North Carolina, had already seen a host of music legends perform. And the new type of music they were playing ~ rock ‘n’ roll ~ captivated him and Kornfeld knew that rock music was his calling.

Kornfeld made his first music recording at age 16. Already an experienced songwriter, he then went on to college, where he befriended classmate Cass Elliot, who went on to be better known as Mama Cass of The Mamas and Papas. This friendship was just one of the first of his personal relationships with the music industry’s most influential players; Kornfeld’s early career was peppered with many amazing friendships and working relationships including those with Chuck Berry, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and many more.

In the early 1960s, Kornfeld collaborated closely with Jan Berry, co-writing his first top ten hit, “Dead Man’s Curve.” During this time, Kornfeld also met Steve Duboff, with whom he wrote over 60 hit songs on over 100 albums by major artists. Among those songs was “The Pied Piper,” which would soon give Kornfeld his nickname.

In 1967, at the age of 25 and having already served as vice president at two other record labels, Artie Kornfeld was named the first Vice President and Director of Rock Music at Capitol Records, becoming the first vice president of rock at any major recording company in history. While there, Kornfeld was an important force in the careers of Linda Ronstadt, The Band, Bob Seger, Lou Rawls, Deborah Harry, Bert Sommer and The Beatles.

Kornfeld’s early thoughts of Woodstock came from a passion for civil and equal rights. In a tumultuous time of war, uncertainty, and general discontent, Kornfeld had a vision of bringing people together through music to impart change and peace. Now, with The Pied Piper of Woodstock, Kornfeld hopes to ignite a similar spirit in his readers today as they experience events similar to those seen four decades before. As creator and promoter of Woodstock, Kornfeld shares the stories of coincidences and influences that led to what is called “the greatest peaceful event in history.”

The Pied Piper of Woodstock aims to offer a rare look at how this significant event in history came to be, as well as at some of the most influential music from the 60s and 70s. The success and significance of Woodstock is a small part of Kornfeld’s monumental career in the music business as songwriter, performer, producer, and record company executive for five decades, but it is certainly the one that is best known across the generations.

The Woodstock Music & Art Fair had a considerable impact on social movements and musical acts that followed, and The Pied Piper of Woodstock explores the many inspirations and shares stories of integration in America and rock culture that occurred from the mid-20th century to the present day.

The Pied Piper of Woodstock is available for sale online at
Amazon.com and other channels.


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