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The Youngbloods (Band)

About The Youngbloods (Band)

The Youngbloods was an American rock band best known for their hit single “Get Together”.

The group began when folk singer Jesse Colin Young met bluegrass musician Jerry Corbitt in Greenwich Village. They began performing in 1965, dubbing themselves The Youngbloods. Soon, they recruited multi-instrumentalist Lowell “Banana” Levingercalling him in the middle of the night to ask if he’d move from Boston to play electric piano (he didn’t even own one). Soon after came Joe Bauer, a jazz drummer who hated rock music but played despite his misgivings.

After a time, the group got a strong word-of-mouth reputation as the house band for the Cafe au Go Go, melding the sounds of the California psychedelic scene with the Greenwich Village folk movement (like their West Coast comrades, The Byrds). Soon, they were signed to RCA Records (a deal they’d later regret, due to RCA’s insistence to promote them as a bubblegum pop act).

They released two albums in 1967 (their self-titled debut and Earth Music), gaining modest success with the single “Grizzly Bear”.

Two years later, New York DJ Dan Ingram recorded a PSA to promote the idea of “brotherhood”, using the band’s song “Get Together”. Soon, it was used again in another ad for the National Council of Christians & Jews. The public saturation of the song led “Get Together” to become a surprise breakthrough hit, the band’s most successful.

That year, Corbitt left to pursue a solo career, leaving Levinger to pick up his end of the band. The band moved to the San Francisco Bay Area to join the psychedelic movement. Their third album, Elephant Mountain, was released shortly after, to some diminished success, peaking at #118 (however, it’s now widely considered the band’s finest work). The fame of their hit single cast a long shadow on them, however, making the band feel like they couldn’t truly move forward.

The group kept going for a short while after that, hiring Michael Kane as their bassist in 1971 and releasing two further albums before ultimately calling it quits in 1972. The members went their separate ways, all but Kane pursuing solo careers (and none but Jesse Young finding any real success with it). They briefly reunited twice in 1976 and the mid-80s.

Joe Bauer died of a brain tumor in 1982. Jerry Corbitt passed away due to lung cancer in 2014.

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