An interview with Jesse Colin Young was featured on the Feb. 4 edition of Greasy Tracks.
Young, like many of his contemporaries, traces his roots to humble folk singing days in Cambridge and New York City in the early 1960s before he formed the Youngbloods in 1965 where he gained international notoriety before going on to a successful solo career in 1972.
Young’s early folk releases The Soul of a City Boy in 1964 and Young Blood a year later didn’t make much of a mark, but when he linked up with guitarist Jerry Corbett, multi-instrumentalist Lowell “Banana” Levinger and drummer Joe Bauer to form The Youngbloods in 1965, things began to change.
The group’s self-titled debut album came out in 1967 and was primarily blues-rooted covers, minus the two songs apiece Young and Corbett
contributed. One of the covers, “Get Together” was written by Chet Powers who would be better known by his stage name Dino Valenti when he joined Quicksilver Messenger Service.
Young related how he first heard the song performed at the Café Au Go Go in New York City by Buzzy Linhart. Young said he was so taken by the song that he went backstage and asked Linhart to write the lyrics down for him.
The track would go to No. 37 on Billboard’s Easy Listening chart and No. 62 on the Hot 100, while the Corbett-penned “Grizzly Bear went to No. 52. Two years later, “Get Together” was reissued as a single and hit No. 5 on the
charts, cementing The Youngblood’s with a timeless hit and Young’s vocal tabbed “the voice of a generation.”
As a solo artist, Young has released 16 studio albums with his 1970s offerings faring the best when it came to chart friendliness, led by Songbird which went to No. 26 in 1975, the live collection On The Road which hit No. 34 in 1976, Light Shine which hit No. 37 in 1974 and Song For Juli which went to No. 51 the year before.