The Smothers Brothers at the Purple Onion, released May 1, 1961 on Mercury Records, was the first album released by the Smothers Brothers and established their reputation as folk music satirists. The Purple Onion is a celebrated comedy and music club in the North Beach area of San Francisco that launched the careers of the Kingston Trio and Phyllis Diller in addition to the Smothers Brothers. The album's full cover text is: The Songs and Comedy of the Smothers Brothers! Recorded at the Purple Onion, San Francisco, and is Mercury catalog number MG 20611 (monaural), and SR 60611 (stereo). It is sometimes referred to as Live at the Purple Onion.
All well known songs were rewritten for satiric purposes unless otherwise indicated. Phrases in quotations are from the liner notes.
"Pretoria" (4:26) (Original song credit: Josef Marais) - Made famous by The Weavers as "Marching to Pretoria," new lyrics by Tom (e.g., "You sleep with me, I'll sleep with you"). Also includes a discussion by Tom of marching songs, including "The March from The Bridge on the River Kwai" (to the tune of the "Colonel Bogey March"), whistled in the film due to the lyrics ("The words were dirty").
"Dance, Boatman, Dance" (5:55) (Tom & Dick Smothers)
"Down in the Valley" (4:21) (Tom & Dick Smothers)- a duet based on the Smothers' own arrangement.
"I Never Will Marry" (2:48) (Fred Brooks) - Performed as a traditional folk song, no satiric rewrite. Recorded again with a comic ending on Think Ethnic!.
"Tom Dooley" (4:47) (Tom & Dick Smothers) - based on the song made famous by the Kingston Trio, which Tommy claims the Trio stole from Dick ("Along with his luggage"). The do the "virgin edition," entitled "Tom Crudely."