Looking Back 50 Years Later at the Summer of Love

Jun 12, 2017

Jesse Colin Young still tours and records music, but a half-century after the Summer of Love, he's still proud of the Youngbloods anthem of peace, "Get Together."
Credit Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

June 1967 heralded the Summer of Love, when tens of thousands of America’s young people headed to San Francisco with flowers in their hair. The Monterrey Pop Festival was the first major rock event of its kind, and brought wider attention to emerging artists such as The Who, the Jimi Hendrix Experience and Big Brother and the Holding Company, with its electrifying singer, Janis Joplin. USC historian Lauren Sklaroff says San Francisco had long been a place where people who felt like outsiders could gather with others like themselves. Among the musicians who were in San Francisco at the time, though not at Monterrey, were the Youngbloods, whose song "Get Together" was a Bay area hit two years before it would become a national number-5, radio staple. Youngbloods leader Jesse Colin Young, now a South Carolina resident, talks about the band's experience coming from New York to "another world" of colorful clothes, psychedelic lights and smiling faces. He also recalls how "Get Together" became an anthem of the Summer of Love, and notes with great satisfaction its continuing influence.