Happy Together – The Turtles

With this new posting, we take a trip back to the 60’s.  A great time of music and culture awareness.  Enjoy this throw-back to 1967.  One of the first songs that I learned word-for -word.

Classic and one of my favorites from the sounds of the 60’s.

The Turtles are an American pop and folk rock band led by vocalists Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman, who became notable for numerous Top 40 hits beginning with their cover version of Bob Dylan‘s “It Ain’t Me Babe” (1965), and “Happy Together” (1967).

The band, originally a surf-rock group called the Crossfires from the Planet Mars, was formed in 1965 in Westchester, California (a neighborhood of Los Angeles’ west side) by Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman. With the help of DJ and club owner Reb Foster, the Crossfires signed to White Whale Records and, adhering to the prevailing musical trend, re-branded themselves as a folk rock group called “The Tyrtles”, the intentional misspelling inspired by The Byrds. However, the trendy spelling did not survive long.  As with the Byrds, the Turtles achieved breakthrough success with a Bob Dylan cover. “It Ain’t Me Babe” reached the Billboard Top Ten in the late summer of 1965, and was the title track to the band’s first album. Their second single, “Let Me Be” reached the top 30. Their third hit, “You Baby”, charted in the top 20 in early 1966. Their second album You Baby never entered Billboard‘s Top LPs chart, and of several singles released in 1966, “Grim Reaper of Love” and “Can I Get to Know You Better” entered the Billboard Hot 100.

At the start of 1967 drummer Don Murray and then bassist Chuck Portz quit the group. They were replaced by Joel Larson and then John Barbata on drums, and by Chip Douglas on bass. The first of several key Turtles singles co-written by Garry Bonner and Alan GordonHappy Together seemed almost a parody of itself, and had already been rejected by countless performers. “Happy Together”, both their biggest hit and their signature song, signaled a turning point for the Turtles and for Chip Douglas, who provided the arrangement.  The single replaced the Beatles‘ “Penny Lane” at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in the spring of 1967. The Turtles’ only number one, it remained at the top for three weeks. An album of the same name followed and peaked at number 25.

A wonderful song and fitting to be placed among the songs that are “for those who have ears to hear”…


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