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Neil Young wrote "Ohio" following the Kent State massacre, in which four protesting students by the National Guard were shot. To do this, he was inspired by a photo of one of the students killed in the magazine Life.  he used the D-A-d-g-a-d-vote.  the song was recorded live on May 15, 1970.  Reprise Records gave it in June that year as a single, with the b-side written by Stephen Stills "Find the Cost of Freedom". A number of radio stations threw the song captivated.  Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, who earlier that year had success with their album Déjà Vu, with the single reached 14th in the Billboard Hot 100.
The live version was featured on the album 4 Way Street (1971). A in the studio recorded version was featured on the compilation albums So Far (1974) and Decade(1977). David Crosby and Graham Nash also played "Ohio" at their concerts without Young and Stills.  The Isley Brothers names in 1971 a medley from "Ohio" and " Jimi Hendrix" Machine Gun "for their album Givin' It Back.