Song Of The Day 3/23/2013: Victor Lundberg - "To The Flower Power"

Victor Lundberg (1923-1990) was a radio announcer in Grand Rapids, Michigan, who released a spoken-word track called "An Open Letter To My Teenage Son" in September 1967. Over an orchestral/choral music backdrop that eventually resolves as "Battle Hymn of the Republic," Lundberg makes a stentorian response to his by-then-groovy son's request for respect, plus opinions on long hair, whether God is dead, and burning one's draft card. Lundberg is at least a little accommodating on most of the younger generation's values -- except for that last part. Draft card burning was, in Lundberg's (or his writer's) opinion, about as traitorous a no-no as one can commit. "Your mother will love you no matter what you do," Lundberg grunts, "because she is a woman... if you decide to burn your draft card, then burn your birth certificate at the same time. From that moment on, I HAVE NO SON."

Believe it or not, this peppy lil' foxtrot became a national hit, quickly rising to #10 on the Billboard charts (and quickly disappearing as well). Encouraged by the fly-by-night success of the single, Liberty Records decided to issue a whole album of Lundberg's surly musings on a lot of topics, called An Open Letter. This guy wrote a lot of open letters.

One of them was a particularly snide message to the hippie generation called "To The Flower Power." Over strains based on Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata," Lundberg sticks it to the, um, Power. "As long as you do not keep me from my barber, I have no quarrel with your long hair or beards. As long as I'm not required to spend any time in an enclosed area with you, the same goes for your body hygiene." Wait until you hear his counter-proposal on the hippies' "Make Love Not War" policy, specifically having two warring nations conduct "love-ins," towards the end of the song. It is the greatest idea I have ever heard. Pump me full of penicillin and smear me in Blistex, I'll volunteer for that army.

Lundberg went on to have an incredible, prosperous career in the '70s and '80s as a motivational speaker who traveled to college campuses, and released the phenomenal best-selling self-help book... ha ha, just kidding, he was never heard from again.

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