Label: Warner Brothers
Year of Release: 1972
In Britain, we’re completely used to the “Rock the Vote” campaign where pop stars will nag young people to register. Paul Weller is generally a constant, usually appearing in the press with such a weary face in the accompanying articles that one loses the will to do anything for the rest of the day after seeing it, much less take part in the democratic process.
As is so often the case, the Yanks were on to the whole campaign way before we were. And so it was in the 1972 election over there that somebody persuaded folk rockers Mason Proffit to produce a promotional ditty on the subject. “Put down your toke, learn to vote, then you can hit 'em where they're gonna feel!” they urged hippies everywhere.
Somehow (and I’m not entirely sure how) this single ended up for sale in a second hand store in London, from where I bought it. It contains the full song on the A-side, plus three promotional radio slot features on the B-side which contain members of the band clearly reading facts about voting off a piece of paper to an instrumental version. How many hippies bothered to put down their spliffs and wander down to the polling booth after hearing this remains undocumented, as does the rumour that Paul Weller will be doing a soulful cover version of the track at the next British election.
(This entry was originally uploaded in June 2008. At this point the blog was still taking its first toddling steps and I clearly thought that giving background information about the act in question was a mere frippery, something nobody really cared about. I obviously deemed it far more important to needlessly take the piss out of the unrelated and largely irrelevant Paul Weller.
So then, to right that wrong, here goes... Mason Profitt were a cultishly successful folk rock band from Chicago formed by brothers Terry Talbot and John Michael Talbot. They issued five albums as Mason Profitt, and enjoyed acclaim from several of their contemporaries but sadly not many sales. None of their albums hit the Billboard 100, and eventually the band dissolved in 1973 (not long after this promotional item was released) to leave the brothers to drift off to record contemporary Christian music instead, for which they have received a Grammy Awards nomination. They have never performed with Paul Weller or been members of The Style Council.
There, that wasn't especially taxing, was it? Excuse me while I pop in my time machine to give the me of four years ago a kick up the arse.)