Get Together (The Youngbloods song)
|Single by The Youngbloods|
|from the album The Youngbloods|
|Released||1967, 1969 (re-issue)|
|Genre||Psychedelic rock, folk rock|
|The Youngbloods singles chronology|
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.
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. 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. It would be their last hit record.
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. 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.
Other cover versions
- 1964: Chet Powers recording of January, 1964 first collected in 1996 on the album Someone to Love: Birth of the San Francisco Sound and later in Love Is the Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-1970
- 1964: Hamilton Camp on his album "Paths Of Victory" http://www.allmusic.com/album/paths-of-victory-mw0000214678
- 1964: David Crosby (unreleased until 2002). Crosby and Dino Valenti were housemates in the early 1960s.
- 1965: Chad Mitchell Trio on their album That's the Way It's Gonna Be
- 1966: Jefferson Airplane recorded a version which was released on August 15, 1966 on their debut album Jefferson Airplane Takes Off. In 1966, Chet Powers, in an effort to raise money for his legal defense on drug charges, sold the rights to the song to Frank Werber.
- 1968: Stone Poneys on their album Linda Ronstadt, Stone Poneys and Friends, Vol. III
- 1968: The Staple Singers on their album "What the World Needs Now Is Love"
- 1969: The Cryan' Shames on their album Synthesis
- 1969: The Carpenters' version of "Get Together" featured on their first album Offering in 1969.The album was later repackaged as Ticket to Ride in 1970.
- 1969: Andy Williams on his album, Get Together with Andy Williams
- 1969: The Dave Clark Five on their album If Somebody Loves You
- 1970: Ray Stevens covered the song on his Everything Is Beautiful album keeping the same arrangement as The Youngbloods.
- 1970: Lucifer - a Rochester-based band played version of "Get Together" featured on their only and very rare album "Lucifer" from 1971.
- 1970: Louis Armstrong covered the song on his final studio album, Louis 'Country & Western' Armstrong.
- 1979: Jesse Colin Young on the album No Nukes, as well as in the film No Nukes, of the Musicians United for Safe Energy concerts.
- 1986: Randy Stonehill on his album The Wild Frontier, produced by Dave Perkins
- 1988: Kate Wolf on An Evening in Austin
- 1988: Love Dolls on Love One Another
- 1989: The Indigo Girls on the Epic Records release of their album Strange Fire. The song also appears on the soundtrack for The Wonder Years.
- 1989: The Wonder Stuff on the B side of the single "Golden Green"
- 1991: Strider on their eponymous album.
- 1991: Nirvana's bass player, Krist Novoselic, yells out the chorus of "Get Together" at the beginning of "Territorial Pissings," from their 1991 album, Nevermind.
- 1994: Big Mountain
- 1996: Jesse Colin Young of The Youngbloods on the album On the Mountain 2 which was a fund raiser compiled by the Seattle radio station KMTT.
- 1999: Garth Brooks, singing under the pseudonym Chris Gaines, incorporated the chorus into his 1999 song "Right Now" and it was heard in the films of I'll Always Know What You Did Last Summer (The songwriting credit went to Powers and folk singer Cheryl Wheeler).
- 2003: Lizz Wright on her album Dreaming Wide Awake
- 2004: Wilson Phillips on their album California
- 2007: Ann Wilson on her album Hope & Glory
- Anne Murray
- The Association
- David and the Giants
- Deana Carter
- Wynonna Judd
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
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.
- The Kingston Trio, Back in Town Retrieved February 29, 2012.
- We Five charting singles Retrieved February 29, 2012.
- The Youngbloods' charting singles Retrieved February 29, 2012.
- 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.
- Get Together at Songfacts.com