Promoter Alex Cooley set the stage for Woodstock with his first Atlanta International Pop Festival held at the city's raceway, July Fourth weekend, 1969, more than a month before event in upstate New York. The crowd numbered close to one hundred thousand with temperatures nearing a hundred degrees. The throngs grew more scantily dressed by degree while local fire departments swung hoses in an attempt to cool and hydrate. Janis Joplin, Joe Cocker and Led Zeppelin were just a few to wow the crowd.
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Joe Sia was a shooting star, a genuine, hands-down, everyone-agrees-on-this star at shooting [photographs], and his departure from this planet in 2003 at the tender age of 57 was too soon for a man of his talent. Born in the Bronx and a committed Yankees man, Joe loved music and gravitated around the Fillmore East and the flower-power youth-culture rock scene from whence he set out to capture some of the most incredible sounds of the last half-century. How could Joe capture sounds on camera film? He did it by focusing on the faces of the performers and the woozing-oozing crowd and by giving the background, whether simple or wild, the importance it deserved in defining the artist and event. Sia's entire archive consists more than a quarter of a million photographs that document almost 35 years of music genre and giants.