Graham Nash: Deja Vu again with Crosby and Stills

Sat Feb 7, 2009 7:06am EST
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By Steve James

NEW YORK (Reuters) - It took just 40 seconds, singing harmony with Stephen Stills and David Crosby, to convince Graham Nash to take the musical step that led ultimately to the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame.

Within a year, he would leave the chart-topping English pop group The Hollies and be playing at the 1969 Woodstock festival with one of rock's first supergroups and penning some of the most enduring songs of the late 60's and early 70's.

"Whatever sound Crosby, Stills & Nash had vocally, happened probably in about 40 seconds," Nash recalled. "I was visiting Joni Mitchell and David and Stephen were there."

Crosby had left the group The Byrds in 1967 and Stills' group Buffalo Springfield had broken up in 1968. The two were looking to perform together, he said.

"They sang 'You Don't Have to Cry,' and I asked them to sing it one more time, and the third time I put my harmony in and it was so good," said Nash.

"Understand, the Byrds, Buffalo Springfield and the Hollies were good harmony bands, but this was something different!"

Thus was born Crosby, Stills & Nash, and this year they mark their 40th anniversary with a tour and a first new studio album in ten years.

Rhino Records, meanwhile, just released "Reflections," a three-disc set of Nash's songs. And on the day this month that he turned 67 (Feb 2), Nash played a gig in Clear Lake, Iowa to honor rock legend Buddy Holly, who died 50 years ago.   Continued...

<p>British musician Graham Nash performs for a satellite radio show to promote his new retrospective boxed set in New York January 29, 2009. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson</p>