Sunday, August 22, 2010

Come on people, now

Love is but a song we sing on Sundays at the Sanctuary, where we can make mountains ring -- and angels cry. So join the good Captain Wayne Shelor as we board the SSS Summer of Love for a trip back to a groovier time. But first open this link in another tab...

By Wayne Shelor

History calls the middle months of 1967 "The Summer of Love." The name -- which fits the turmoil of the time a little uncomfortably, like a new pair of yet-to-be-broken-in bellbottoms -- is, however, a fair reflection of the music made that year.

Peace and love were the mantra of the day. The Monterey Pop Festival on June 16-18 of ‘67 - is probably the place to start when defining the Summer of Love. Featuring acts ranging from Lou Rawls, Ravi Shankar and Hugh Masekela to Moby Grape, the Electric Flag, the Who and Buffalo Springfield, California's Monterey Pop Festival was the coming-out party for a generation of hippies, flower children and destiny-seekers.

In 1967, tribes of idealistic and altruistic youth turned to music to escape the harrowing realities of Vietnam, political and campus unrest, the Cold War and other societal ills.

Songs such as "Reach Out of the Darkness," "Love Is All Around," "Lazy Day" and "Pleasant Valley Sunday" found great popularity among the burgeoning generation of "gentle people, wearing flowers in their hair."

And no song better captures the spirit and intent of the time than "Get Together," made popular by The Youngbloods. First recorded in 1965 by the We Five, and the next year by the Jefferson Airplane, "Get Together" was released to a wider audience in 1967 by The Youngbloods, but didn't chart very well. Two years later the Youngbloods' recording was used in a radio and television advertising campaign by the National Conference of Christians and Jews, and the song shot back up the charts to the Top 5.

Funny thing about “Get Together” … its author is almost never remembered for this song. “Get Together” was written by Dino Valenti, a member of the San Francisco jam band Quicksilver Messenger Service. Valenti – after a drug bust -- sold the rights to the song to pay for a lawyer. How ‘60s is that?

"Get Together" may have been the first secular pop song extensively embraced by America's religious community; I can't think of a single youth service at a church or synagogue I visited as a teenager where "Get Together" wasn't played by earnest young musicians. It’s still played in churches around America.

"The Summer of Love" was as much a state of mind as it was an definable time in space. But the over-riding sentiment in the summer of '67 was pretty simple: "Come on people, now, smile on your brother ... try to love one another. Right now."

That's why we recall those days as ... The Summer of Love.


  1. Enjoyed it. Great piece! You've inspired me to gather up some of the dusty gems of that era.

  2. Get Together, was a great song !

    If you hear the song I sing,
    You must understand.
    You hold the key to love and fear,
    All in your trembling hand.
    Just one key unlocks them both,
    It's there at your command......

  3. those were magical times for recent music history. i kinda felt it when i was living it, but i know it now ;+)