Song 22 - - Brewer and Shipley

Well, the election is over. The guy who most of the country did not want to be the next president is now the president-elect. That's the bad news. But the good news is that three states, California, Massachusetts and Nevada, voted to approve recreational marijuana use. So the country has that going for it. And this movement very well may have Brewer and Shipley to thank for this social progress. 

Michael Brewer and Tom Shipley are a folk duo from Kansas City, Missouri, who had limited success in the late 1960s through the mid 1970s. I never saw them in person, but I did buy their third album, called Tarkio, in 1970 when I was a sophomore in high school. Not that I was a doper (as they were sometimes called back then), but I may have sampled a little herb product back then. But that had nothing to do with me buying Tarkio. I bought the album because I heard the song One Toke Over the Line on the radio. The album had a bunch of other great songs, including Oh Mommy and Tarkio Road. But One Toke Over The Line was (and is) a great song that I must've played a thousand times or so on the record player. The tune is catchy; the harmonies are awesome; and the guitar work is notable. 

 

The song was performed by Gail Farrell and Dick Dale on the Lawrence Welk Show in 1971; Lawrence Welk called the song a "modern spiritual." At the same time, Vice President Spiro Agnew called Brewer and Shipley (because of One Tolk Over the Line) "subversive to American youth." So there's that. 

The song reached number 10 on the pop charts, and it was by far Brewer and Shipley's most popular song. 

So here it is: Song 22: Brewer and Shipley harmonizing on One Toke Over the Road.

Leave a comment

Add comment