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

My problem is that it’s all very properly to take a seat again and complain however when it’s your nation you’ve gotten 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 Struggle, owing largely to folks trio Peter, Paul and Mary‘s cowl model.

Perhaps some voter registration added to the combo?

Earlier than breaking into their duet on the late evening TV musical selection present The Midnight Particular, Denver invited Mama Cass to share just a few phrases on her efforts to get out the vote in a presidential election 12 months:

I’ve been touring across the nation for the previous 12 months or so, speaking on quite a lot of faculty campuses and looking for out precisely what persons 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 discuss, 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 Occasions 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 US on Nov. 7.”

Cass Elliot, a McGovern supporter, had grow to be 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 believe all people who has a mind ought to get entangled in politics.  Working inside. Not criticizing it from the surface.  Change into an energetic participant, irrespective of how feeble you assume the trouble is.  I noticed within the Democratic Conference in Chicago that there have been extra individuals concerned with what I used to be concerned with than I believed potential.  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 essential who you vote for, you vote for who you imagine in, however the essential factor is to vote,” although it’s arduous to think about that anybody tuning in from dwelling would mistake her for a Nixon gal.

Earlier within the 12 months 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 People 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 is likely to be open to a profession shift:

 I believe 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 quite a lot of emotions about issues.  I understand how I wish to see issues for this nation and in my travels, after I discuss to individuals, all people needs just about the identical factor:  peace, sufficient jobs, no poverty and good schooling.  And I’ve realized so much.  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 if 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 focus on Watergate throughout her ultimate go to to The Mike Douglas Present, shortly earlier than her 1974 demise, 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 state of affairs our nation now finds itself in, particularly with one other 5 a long time of expertise beneath her belt.

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

In the event you haven’t but registered to vote, now could be a good time to take action. It will not be too late to take part in your state’s major 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 “Increase 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.  Observe her @AyunHalliday.



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