Sweetwater Nancy Nevins

Sweetwater Nancy Nevins

October 12…happy birthday

Sweetwater Nancy Nevins

I try to do a blog piece for each Woodstock performer on their birthday and if her Facebook page is accurate ūüėÄ , then October 12 is Nancy Nevin’s birthday.

Sweetwater Nancy Nevins

The main source for my information is from a February 2, 2017 Wade Lawrence blog piece for the Museum at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts.

Nevins’s Sweetwater story began when she was 17. She happened to stop at a coffeehouse on her way home. She sat in with¬†Alex Del Zoppo (keyboards), Albert Moore (flute), and Elpidio Cobian (congas) who were jamming.

That was it. About an hour later she headed home. Eventually, though, she began performing with those three on the coffeehouse circuit. August Burns (cello), Fred Herrera (bass), and Alan Malarowitz (drums) joined and all became Sweetwater.

Sweetwater Nancy Nevins

Eponymous Sweetwater album

In 1968, Reprise Records released Sweetwater’s first album,¬†Sweetwater.¬†The band toured as an opening act for some of the time’s big names:¬†The Doors, Eric Burdon and the Animals, Cream, Grateful Dead, Frank Zappa, and others.

They also found themselves on various TV variety shows such as The Red Skelton Show, The Steve Allen Show, Playboy After Dark, The Hollywood Palace, and¬†American Bandstand. ¬†Here’s a clip from an appearance on¬†Hollywood Palace¬†with Bing Crosby’s corny intro:

Sweetwater Nancy Nevins

1969 Festival circuit

Along with dozens of other bands that year, Sweetwater played at many festivals besides Woodstock:

Sweetwater Nancy Nevins

Bad luck and tragedy

For many Woodstock bands, their fame was brief. For others, like Santana, their fame blossomed a year later when their appearance became part of the triple-album and/or the Woodstock movie.

Sweetwater had neither.

And when a drunken driver sped into Nancy Nevins’s stopped car, her career should have ended, too.

She wasn’t supposed to live. She wasn’t supposed have any mobility¬†if she¬†did live. And she certainly would never sing again if she regained¬†any movement.

Sweetwater Nancy Nevins


But after twenty-five excruciating years of rehabilitation, incredible persistence, great medical care, Nevins lives on. Nevins sings some (with a different voice), teaches more (and learns more every day), and realizes how fortunate she is simply to be alive.

Sweetwater released two more albums using some of her pre-accident recordings, but its members eventually went their own way as well.


Sweetwater Nancy Nevins
From her Facebook page

Her Facebook page lists this information as well:

  • Works at¬†Musician
  • Former Recording Artist at¬†Self and Rhino Records, et al
  • Former Singer/Performer at¬†Musician
  • Studied at¬†California State University, Fullerton
  • Studied American Studies at¬†California State University, Fullerton
  • Went to¬†Glendale High School
  • Lives in¬†Los Angeles, California
  • From¬†Los Angeles, California
Sweetwater Nancy Nevins