Gather ’round children.
So, in August of 1971, “One Toke Over the Line” – a song about smoking too much weed – hit the charts and caused a LOT of people to blow a gasket.
Now remember, this was when marijuana was illegal in all 50 states.
And if you were caught with a joint it could land you in the slammer for a LONG time.
Then-Vice President Spiro Agnew declared the song “blatant drug-culture propaganda” that threatened to “sap our national strength.” (Well, it IS hard to get motivated when you’re stoned.)
The FCC warned radio stations of the song’s nefarious content. President Richard Nixon allegedly included the singers, Brewer & Shipley, on his famous enemies list.
Meanwhile, “One Toke Over the Line,” managed to make it into the Billboard top 10 that year.
Which is probably why Lawrence Welk was like “Heyyyyy! We should cover this hip new jam for our show because we want the young kids to tune in and think we are cool!”
If you’ve never experienced “The Lawrence Welk Show”, it was this SUPER popular television program among nanas across the country.
Lawrence Welk was an accordionist and bandleader who presented a corny variety show where everyone looked like a cross between a Branch Davidian and the Breck Girl – even the men.
It single-handedly put polyester pinafores on the fashion map.
What a time to be alive!
Anyway, while the nation’s leaders railed against the dangers of smoking dope, Lawrence Welk presented a 3 minute promotion for rolling one and relaxing.
He thought it was a spiritual. To be fair, it does mention Sweet Jesus.
Here it is in all its glory: