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Mama Cass and John Denver Sing a Duet of “Leaving On a Jet Airplane” (1972)


My situation is that it’s all very nicely to sit down again and complain however when it’s your nation you could have a duty. – Cass Elliot

What may very well be extra heavenly than Cass Elliot of The Mamas & The Papas and singer-songwriter John Denver harmonizing on Denver’s “Leaving on a Jet Airplane,” a tune many conceived of as a protest to the Vietnam Warfare, owing largely to folks trio Peter, Paul and Mary‘s cowl model.

Perhaps some voter registration added to the combination?

Earlier than breaking into their duet on the late night time TV musical selection present The Midnight Particular, Denver invited Mama Cass to share a number of phrases on her efforts to get out the vote in a presidential election yr:

I’ve been touring across the nation for the previous yr or so, speaking on plenty of faculty campuses and looking for out precisely what individuals are pondering, and the factor that’s impressed me essentially the most is, there’s nonetheless on this nation, imagine it or not, after all of the speak, an incredible quantity of apathy on the half of people that possibly don’t like the best way issues are going and possibly need to change it, however don’t do something about it, y’know?

It was August 19, 1972. The battle in Vietnam and the upcoming contest between President Richard Nixon and his Democratic challenger George McGovern have been the highest tales. June’s Watergate break in was a mounting concern.

Earlier within the day, the New York Instances reported that “Senator George McGovern expects (South Vietnamese) President Nguyễn Văn Thiệu and his “cohorts” to flee Saigon into exile and a Communist-dominated coalition to take management of South Vietnam if Mr. McGovern is elected President of the USA on Nov. 7.”

Cass Elliot, a McGovern supporter, had change into rather more vocal about her political activism following the 1968 break up of The Mamas & The Papas, as on this interview with Rolling Stone:

I feel all people who has a mind ought to get entangled in politics.  Working inside. Not criticizing it from the skin.  Turn into an lively participant, regardless of how feeble you assume the trouble is.  I noticed within the Democratic Conference in Chicago that there have been extra individuals excited by what I used to be excited by than I believed doable.  It made me need to work.  It made me really feel my opinion and concepts weren’t futile, that there could be room in an organized motion of politics for me to voice myself. 

She remained diplomatic on the Midnight Particular, telling viewers that “I don’t assume it’s so necessary who you vote for, you vote for who you imagine in, however the necessary factor is to vote,” although it’s arduous to think about that anybody tuning in from house would mistake her for a Nixon gal.

Earlier within the yr she had ushered on the 4 For McGovern fundraising live performance on the LA Discussion board, was within the viewers at Madison Sq. Warren Beatty’s Collectively for McGovern live performance Backyard, and attended a celebration Individuals Overseas for McGovern held in London.

Shortly after the election (SPOILER: Her man misplaced), throughout an look on The Mike Douglas Present, above, she intimated that she may be open to a profession shift:

 I feel I wish to be a Senator or one thing in twenty years.  I don’t assume I actually know sufficient but. I’m simply 30 now and I wouldn’t even be eligible to run for workplace for one more 5 years.  However I’ve plenty of emotions about issues.  I understand how I wish to see issues for this nation and in my travels, once I speak to individuals, all people desires just about the identical factor:  peace, sufficient jobs, no poverty and good training.  And I’ve discovered lots.  It’s humorous.  So many individuals in present enterprise go into politics, and I used to say ‘What the heck do they learn about it?’  However while you journey round, you actually do get to really feel–to not be cliche–the heart beat of the nation and what individuals need.  I’m involved and it’s not good to be unconcerned and simply sit there.

Listening to her talk about Watergate throughout her remaining go to to The Mike Douglas Present, shortly earlier than her 1974 dying, actually makes us want she was nonetheless right here with us.

What we wouldn’t give to listen to this outspoken political observer’s tackle the scenario our nation now finds itself in, particularly with one other 5 a long time of expertise underneath her belt.

Maybe there’s an alternate universe wherein Cass Elliot is President.

In case you haven’t but registered to vote, now could be a good time to take action. It might not be too late to take part in your state’s main elections. You understand that’s what Cass would have needed.

Associated Content material 

Tom Jones Performs “Lengthy Time Gone” with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Younger–and Blows the Band & Viewers Away (1969)

Joni Mitchell Sings an Achingly Fairly Model of “Each Sides Now” on the Mama Cass TV Present (1969)

Janis Joplin & Tom Jones Carry the Home Down in an Unlikely Duet of “Elevate Your Hand” (1969)

Ayun Halliday is the Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine and creator, most not too long ago, of Inventive, Not Well-known: The Small Potato Manifesto.  Comply with her @AyunHalliday.



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