Singer-Songwriters – Chapter Two

Today’s entry is Chester Williams Powers, Jr.  Never heard of him?  Not surprising since he didn’t preform under his birth name.  In fact, he not only used a stage name, Dino Valenti (sometimes Valente), he wrote under a different name, Jesse Oris Farrow.  As confusing as some of my family tree has turned out to be.

So just who is this guy, or maybe it’s “these guys”? 

You would know him best from the psychedelic 60’s and 70’s group Quicksilver Messenger Service.  Their biggest hit was “Fresh Air” which I thought I’ve already linked here on the blog, but I can’t find it.  But that’s okay, since I’m not using that song anyway.

While listening to Earle Bailey on the Deep Tracks channel this morning, he played the song I will use.  He also talked about how Chet (at least that’s what his Wiki page says he calls himself) had the different names.  Naturally, I had to go and check.  The next obvious step was to write this post so I might be able to educate you, my wonderful reader(s).

One thing I did learn was that Chet wrote “Let’s Get Together”, or as it’s more widely known “Get Together”.  I may or may not have already posted Jessie Colin Young and the Youngbloods’ cover of that tune here.  That version made it to number 5 in 1967. 

After an arrest for possession of marijuana, he was searched again by police (who found more marijuana and amphetamines in his apartment) while awaiting trial. He received a one-to-ten-year sentence served in part at Folsom State Prison. To raise money for his defense, he sold the publishing rights for “Get Together” to Frank Werber, the manager of The Kingston Trio.

This is the title track of the groups fifth album, “What About Me”, released in December 1970.  The song only made it to number 100 in 1971.



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