Saturday, September 17, 2016

The 2015/1967 Countdown - 09/17/2016 Update

Today, we return to our 1967's Super "Sensational" Summer Of Love mix, and look at another huge folk-rock anthem from that year.

Unlike The Youngblood's Get Together, which took two years and a commercial plug to become a hit, The Grass Root's Let's Live For Today needed no such grace period finding its audience.  It was an immediate hit for the act in the states, (the first of over a dozen in the years to follow), and went on to become one of the most popular songs of the decade, almost an anthem of sorts, for U.S. servicemen fighting overseas in Vietnam who were facing the prospect of death on a daily basis.

But as direct and uncomplicated as the song's social impact was, the band's history is anything but.

Initially, the band was nothing more than a prepackaged act built as a live performance vehicle for the songs of the Lou Adler mentored songwriting duo of P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri.  In fact, the performing version of The Grass Roots was already on its third fully revamped line-up when Let's Live For Today hit the air in May 1967.

But though, other than vocals, most of the band's early recorded music was performed by LA's famed collection of ace studio musicians, The Wrecking Crew, the performing version of the band, though it would pass through over fifty different members in its lifetime, would go on to have an astonishingly long career well after Sloan and Barri had lost all interest.

Led by third-lineup bassist Rob Grill, who sang lead vocals on Let's Live For Today and who would become the one constant in the band until his death in 2011, The Grass Roots became mainstays on the state fair/festival circuit in the 70s and 80s and the nostalgia circuits of more decades. In fact, even though Grill has now passed, a collection of replacements handpicked by him continues to perform under The Grass Roots moniker to this day.

So to introduce an act that kept it going long past its peak years, a comedian who in 1967 was well beyond his.

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