The ’68 Nixon: A Political Primer From Denver, Boise & Johnson

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(l to r) Michael Johnson, David Boise and John Denver circa 1968

With national politics in the air once again (whether or not you like what’s “blowin’ in the wind” is up to you), it seems more than appropriate to revisit a tiny portion of the 1968 presidential campaign, specifically this musical ditty from Denver, Boise & Johnson, a group which evolved from The Chad Mitchell Trio.

This cut (subtitled This Year’s Model) and Take Me To Tomorrow (the flip side of the Reprise 45) are the only known commercial recordings of DB&J. The stereo track below is taken from an early 70s Warner Bros. “Loss-Leader” 2-LP set titled Hard Goods.

(CLICK the arrow to listen)

The CMT had a history of mixing humor and political satire into their tight vocal harmonies (starting with the classic The John Birch Society), and the tradition continued through a series of personnel changes. In 1964, they became The Mitchell Trio (to become more egalitarian), and recorded a couple more LPs under that moniker before namesake Chad Mitchell left for solo pastures. He was replaced by a “jaunty lad” (as he was described in the That’s the Way it’s Gonna Be LP liner notes) named John Denver.

Yes, THAT John Denver.

In 1966, member Joe Frazier (no, not THAT Joe Frazier) moved on as well, and was replaced by David Boise (pronounced “boyz,” not like the city in Idaho). When the final original CMT member — Mike Kobluk — left the following year, he was replaced by Michael Johnson, and the group became DB&J until 1969, when the three went off to solo and sideman careers.

Of course, history also tells us that Richard M. Nixon won the 1968 election despite the vocal efforts of DB&J. Maybe it was that “Sock it to me?” appearance on Laugh in.

 

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