Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Age of Aquarius: Get Together

The Youngbloods: Get Together


Talk about a period piece. It's hard to imagine "Get Together" making a mark in any era but the groovy 1960s. "Come on people now, smile on your brother, everybody get together, try to love one another right now." Those lyrics couldn't be sung in earnest by Sinatra in the 1940s or the Black Eyed Peas today.

In fact, the song predates the hippie movement a bit. It was written by Dino Valenti (later of Quicksilver Messenger Service) in 1960. In the mid-60s, various folkies and rockers took a stab at the song, including Judy Collins, Jefferson Airplane and the Kingston Trio. When the Youngbloods -- led by Jesse Colin Young -- first released the song in 1967, it was not an immediate hit. Two years after its initial release, "Get Together" was used as the soundtrack to a public service announcement, produced by the National Conference of Christians and Jews, advocating for peace, love and understanding. (Ah, the '60s!) The Youngbloods' recording was re-released and became a top 5 hit. "From then on," writes Brian Boone in his book I Love Rock and Roll (Except When I Hate It), "it became an iconic flower-child anthem, mostly after the fact, popping up in countless '60s documentaries, '60s-set movies, Boomer-targeted soda commercials and what felt like every other episode of China Beach."

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