Get Together (The Youngbloods song)

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"Get Together"
Single by The Youngbloods
from the album The Youngbloods
B-side "Beautiful"
Released 1967, 1969 (re-issue)
Format 7"
Recorded 1966
Genre Psychedelic rock, folk rock
Length 4:37
Label RCA Victor
Writer(s) Chet Powers
Producer(s) Felix Pappalardi
The Youngbloods singles chronology
"Merry-Go-Round"
(1967)
"Get Together"
(1969)
"Darkness, Darkness"
(1969)

"Get Together", also known as "Let's Get Together", is a song written in the early 1960s by American singer-songwriter Chet Powers (aka Dino Valenti).

The song is an appeal for peace and brotherhood, presenting the polarity of love versus fear, and the choice to be made between them. It is best remembered for the impassioned plea in the lines of its refrain, which is repeated several times in succession to bring the song to its conclusion.

Recording history[edit]

The song was originally recorded as "Let's Get Together" by The Kingston Trio and released on June 1, 1964, on their album Back in Town.[1] While it was not released as a single, this version was the first to bring the song to the attention of the general public. The Kingston Trio often performed it live.

A version of the song first broke into the top forty in 1965, when We Five, produced by Kingston Trio manager Frank Werber, released "Let's Get Together" as the follow-up to their top ten hit "You Were on My Mind." While it did not achieve the same level of success as the other, "Let's Get Together" provided the group with a second top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 when it peaked at #31.[2] It would be their last hit record.

Judy Collins performed the song live at the 1966 Newport Folk Festival and her version was included on a later album compiling highlights of various Newport Festivals.

From 1967-1969, "Get Together" was a staple in Joni Mitchell's shows, often playing the song as an encore.

The 1960s band HP LoveCraft also made a cover of the song.

In a May 26, 2014 interview, Jesse Colin Young talks with Music Journalist Ray Shasho about the idea for recording "Get Together." Jesse Colin Young stated “It was a Sunday afternoon and I had stopped in to the Cafe au Go Go to see if anyone was rehearsing because The Blues Project had also rehearsed there. I walked in and there was an open mike and a fellow named Buzzy Linhart who had a quartet called the Seventh Suns, and he was singing a song called “Get Together” and I was struck by it. This was a song written by Dino Valenti (Chet Powers). I ran backstage and said, Buzzy write the lyrics out because I’ve got to sing it. I must have memorized the melody, but he wrote down the lyrics on a piece of paper and I had watched him play it on guitar. But yea, that was a momentous day for me. I took it into rehearsal for The Youngbloods the next day. Most of the songs I had written myself, but I knew “Get Together” was a game changer … a life changer for me.”

In 1967, The Youngbloods released their version of the song under the title "Get Together." It became a minor Hot 100 hit for them, peaking at #62.[3] However, renewed interest in the Youngbloods' version came when it was used in a radio public service announcement as a call for brotherhood by the National Conference of Christians and Jews. The Youngbloods' version, the most-remembered today, was re-released in 1969. It was a smash, hitting #1 in Cash Box magazine, and reaching #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It also earned a million-selling Gold single from the RIAA.

The Dave Clark Five reached #8 on the UK Singles Chart in March 1970 with their version retitled "Everybody Get Together."

Other cover versions[edit]

Controversy[edit]

Following the September 11 terrorist attacks, the media conglomerate company Clear Channel Communications included The Youngbloods' version of the song on a list of "lyrically questionable" songs that was sent to its 1200 radio stations in the United States.

In popular culture[edit]

The Youngbloods version of the song has been featured in several films, including Purple Haze, Forrest Gump, Stephen King's Riding the Bullet, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and most recently Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore.

In The Simpsons episode Treehouse of Horror II Lisa wishes for world peace and her wish comes true. All people on Earth start singing "Get Together" and dance in a large peace sign.

The South Park episode Smug Alert contains a parody of the song which repeats the line "come on people now" several times.

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Kingston Trio, Back in Town Retrieved February 29, 2012.
  2. ^ We Five charting singles Retrieved February 29, 2012.
  3. ^ The Youngbloods' charting singles Retrieved February 29, 2012.
  4. ^ Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 41 - The Acid Test: Psychedelics and a sub-culture emerge in San Francisco." (audio). Pop Chronicles. Digital.library.unt.edu. Retrieved 2011-04-29. 

External links[edit]