“The ’68 Nixon” by Denver, Boise and Johnson

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

Other links to DB&J performances:

Click HERE for some Denver, Boise and Johnson performances on YouTube

Click HERE for some wonderfully rare live recordings of DB&J as well as a few early solo sets by John Denver. NOTE: This site (cincinattidancingpigs.com) also has some great photographs, marvelous song-by-song notes of each concert set, and excellent fact-filled personal stories. If you’re a fan of John Denver, the Chad Mitchell Trio (or, for that matter, DB&J), you should check it out.

- craig hodgkins

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~ by Craig Hodgkins on April 24, 2008.

6 Responses to ““The ’68 Nixon” by Denver, Boise and Johnson”

  1. Hi Craig,

    Thanks for the kind words about my John Denver material on the cincinnatidancingpigs.com website.

    John Marlowe

  2. John: You deserve every word…it’s great and rare stuff. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Flip-flop tradition…

    No, this isn’t a shoe post. But if you’ve come to the conclusion that jumping from side to side is a contemporary political phenomenon, your attention is invited to “The ’68 Nixon” by Denver, Boise and Johnson: He is liberal……

  4. I love this song. It’s on one of those Warner Brothers Loss Leaders from the early 1970s, but I’m too lazy to check out which one.

  5. [...] Boise and Johnson released a tiny li’ (as in, under two minutes) ditty entitled “The ’68 Nixon”: Hi there voters, how do you feel? Tired of the same old vote appeal? Well look who’s back [...]

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