The Amazing History of “Let’s Get Together”
They say you learn something new every day. Often several things. Like being today old when I “discovered” that the rock anthem “Get Together,” the ubiquitous Youngbloods song, had a long history BEFORE that version came out in 1967 and long history AFTERWARDS as well.
Rod Koch, a true music fan, sent me this post. Color me unaware!
So, several things. Dino Valenti has written more than a few true rock anthems, most prominently “Fresh Air” and “What About Me” with Quicksilver Messenger Service. He was a thoughtful and dynamic performer who left it all on the stage. Here is his version of “Let’s Get Together” (the original title and NOT the Hayley Mills song from The Parent Trap — I love that one, too) with Valenti and Fred Neil, another master folk singer/songwriter (the cover photo features Valenti, left, and Neil, right):
And great thanks to Wikipedia for information about the numerous covers of “Let’s Get Together,” which Valenti penned before its premier by The Kingston Trio on their 1964 album Back in Town. David Crosby also recorded it as “Get Together” before he joined The Byrds. It was covered by We Five (“You Were On My Mind”) and The Mitchell Trio (formerly The Chad Mitchell Trio, with Mitchell replaced by John Denver).
“Let’s Get Together” appeared in early 1967 on Jefferson Airplane Takes Off, the group’s debut featuring vocalist Signe Anderson. The lead vocals here are by the late Marty Balin:
Then, in July of that year, The Youngbloods released their single “Get Together,” which met only mild acclaim. “However,” according to Wikipedia, “renewed interest in the Youngbloods’ version came when it was used in a radio PSA as a call for brotherhood by the National Conference of Christians and Jews.” It then became the theme song of the youth movement.
There were numerous other covers of the song after that, including versions by H.P. Lovecraft, The Carpenters, Smith, and The Dave Clark Five.
Thanks for the dive down the rabbit hole, Rod!