I was never a hippie, but I did enjoy hippy music back in the 1960s. This K-tel collection, sold mostly through TV commercials decades ago, features some classics songs: “California Dreamin'” and “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In” and “What the World Needs Now.” The only dud is Bob Lind’s annoying “Elusive Butterfly.”

I remember “Happy Together” by The Turtles being played constantly on the radio. But there are a few One-Hit Wonders included here: Sopwith Camel’s “Hello Hello” and “Back on the Street Again” by The Sunshine Company.

Were you a hippy? Did you embrace Flower Power? GRADE: B


  1. “California Dreamin'” THE MAMAS & THE PAPAS 2:37
  2. “Incense and Peppermints” STRAWBERRY ALARM CLOCK 2:46
  3. “Back on the Street Again” THE SUNSHINE COMPANY 2:28
  4. “Reach Out of the Darkness” FRIEND & LOVER 3:08
  5. “Green Tambourine” THE LEMON PIPERS 2:22
  6. “Elusive Butterfly” BOB LIND 2:46
  7. “Happy Together” THE TURTLES 2:52
  8. “You Didn’t Have to Be So Nice” THE LOVIN’ SPOONFUL
  9. “Hello Hello” SOPWITH CAMEL 2:24
  10. “Beautiful People” MELANIE 3:35
  11. “Sunday Will Never Be the Same” SPANKY & OUR GANG 2:55
  12. “Angel of the Morning” MERRILEE RUSH & THE TURNABOUTS 2:58
  13. “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In” THE FIFTH DIMENSION 4:49
  14. “What the World Needs Now” JACKIE DeSHANNON 3:10

24 thoughts on “K-tel PRESENTS FLOWER POWER

  1. Steve Oerkfitz

    Pretty much a mixed bag. Always liked Mamas & the Papas, Turtles, Lovin Spoonful and Jackie Deshannon. Detested Bob Lind, Sopwith Camel, Strawberry Alarm Clock ( awful name), Spanky and Our Gang (another awful name),Fifth Dimension. But the worst one here, a song which will remain forever in my top ten of worst ever is The Lemon Pipers Green Tambourine. One of the stupiest songs ever written. Don’t recall The Sunshine Company, but with a name like that their song has to be awful.
    A true hippy list would have to include Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Love, The Doors, Country Joe and the Fish, Buffalo Springifield. K-Tel always put out crappy records. . I’d give this a C- and that’s being kind.

    1. george Post author

      Steve, I only own a handful of K-tel CDs. You’re right: they are almost always inferior compilations. But I think I bought this for a nickel at a garage sale.

  2. Steve Oerkfitz

    Forgot to address the whole was I a hippy question. Yes and no. I embraced the music of the sixties and always had moderately long hair until about 50 when I started losing it. Never bought into communes, astrology or the new age crap. Never wore tie dye or bell bottoms. From the age of 16 until pretty much now I have never owned anything but levis, except when jobs required otherwise. And black leather jackets and t shirts. I pretty much looked like one of The Ramones before they did. Read Kesey, Kerouac and Ginsburg. But always disliked Brautigan. And my ultimate anti establishment vow was never wear to wear wingtips. The ugliest shoes ever made until crocs came along.

    1. george Post author

      Steve, I only owned one pair of wingtips back in my Senior Year of High School. My mother lobbied for them so I would look “professional” when I went on College visits. Like you, I thought they looked ugly. They’re weren’t comfortable, either. I went through a phase where I read a lot of Brautigan–a very popular writer at that time–but mostly forgotten now.

  3. Jeff Meyerson

    A hippie? No, but sympathetic. I liked a lot of the music.

    But where is “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)” by Scott McKenzie (and written by John Phillips)? Or “Groovin'” by the Young Rascals? Or “Get Together” by The Youngbloods? Any song with “Groovy” in it fits. “Feeling Groovy (The 59th Street Bridge Song).” “A Groovy Kind of Love.”

    I don’t know The Sunshine Company.

    1. george Post author

      Jeff, as Steve pointed out, K-tel put out inferior compilations so classic Flower Power songs like “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair” by Scott McKenzie are not to be found on one of their CDs.

  4. Deb

    Too young, but liked the music. My favorite song here is “Reach Out in the Darkness,” but I think of “Incense & Peppermints” as being the quintessential “hippie” song.

    1. george Post author

      Deb, one of the reasons I bought K-tel PRESENTS FLOWER POWER is because of “Reach Out in the Darkness.” I don’t have it on any of my other CD compilations. “Incense & Peppermints” received a lot of airplay back in the Sixties! Quintessential “hippy” song for sure!

      1. Jeff Meyerson

        And of course, as Bill would have pointed out had he been here (sigh), “Incense and Peppermints” was performed by Strawberry Alarm Clock in both PSYCH-OUT (1968; Jack Nicholson, Susan Strasberg, Bruce Dern) and BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS (1970). They also did other songs in both movies. According to Wikipedia, they did “Rainy Day Mushroom Pillow” (far out, man!) in the former.

        I had a 45 of it and still get a kick out of it. I also had a 45 of “Reach Out of the Darkness” (which is on my “groovy” list – “I think it’s so groovy that people are finally getting together”) by Friend and Lover (James and Cathy Post). It was recorded in Nashville with Joe South and Ray Stevens on the session.

        “Their marriage and the band broke up.” She died at 73, he is alive and 80.

      2. george Post author

        Jeff, you always provide such insightful information! Yes, Bill Crider would have cited the “Incense & Peppermints” and THE STRAWBERRY ALARM CLOCK’s discography.

  5. Jerry House

    Never was a hippie, although I did have the requisite beard. I also eschewed drugs and free love (although free love was just about all I could afford. My taste in music veered toward folk and protest songs. Most of the cuts on this album were minor hits by minor groups. I did like The Lovin’ Spoonful and The Mamas and the Papas. though. (I still like both, despite the despicable things we learned about John Phillips later on — Mama Cass Elliot was the saving grace of that group. Steve’s list of groups were more to my taste. Also, back then, I never went to San Francisco so I didn’t have a flower for my hair; I still don’t wear a flower in my rapidly thinning hair.

  6. Michael Padgett

    Strange collection. There are only four songs here that I actually liked–1, 7 8, and 14. There are titles that sound somewhat familiar, like “Angel of the Morning”, where the artist is totally unfamiliar. With a few exceptions, this just isn’t the kind of music I was listening to at the time. Certainly I was exposed to this stuff, it was unavoidable, but I was more into the Brits, Dylan and folk rock, and a lot of the music coming out of California.

    I can’t really say I was a hippie, maybe a hippie sympathizer. From ’66-’68 I was in Athens, GA, which would explode with a musical revolution about 15 years later, but there was no real sign of it when I was there.

    1. george Post author

      Michael, like you I was into The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, and a lot of California music during the late 1960s. I visited a girl friend in Athens, GA in 1977.

    2. wolf

      On our last trip to the USA 8 years ago (Nashville, Savannah , Space Center, Orlando and back) I took my wife to Athens for one night, hoping to see Randall Bramblett live or go to any other concert but we only heard music in the bars. Still we liked that small city very much.

  7. maggie mason

    I was never a true hippie, but maybe hippie adjacent. I agree with Steve’s list, but would add Canned Heat (if only for ‘going up the country’) and Iron Butterfly, though only for the short version of gadda da vida.

    Some of these songs seemed to be the precursor of bubble gum rock – sickeningly sweet

  8. Dan

    I am a retired ex-cop in a relationship with a former Flower Child.
    Is this the makings of a sitcom?

  9. Jeff Smith

    I’d accept most of these in a Hippie Music Box Set, but only if they were surrounded by lots of better stuff. Like…
    Dylan — Blowin in the Wind, The Times They Are A-Changing
    Byrds — Mr Tambourine Man, Turn Turn Turn
    Simon & Garfunkel — so many choices: Sound of Silence, Scarborough Fair, I Am a Rock
    Cat Stevens — Peace Train
    Donovan — Mellow Yellow, Hurdy Gurdy Man, Season of the Witch, so much more
    Crosby Stills and/or Nash — Teach Your Children, Love the One You’re With, For What It’s Worth from Buffalo Springfield
    Zombies — Time of the Season
    Doors — Light My Fire
    Pete Seeger (or Peter Paul & Mary) — If I Had a Hammer
    Woody Guthrie — This Land Is Your Land
    Arlo Guthrie — Alice’s Restaurant
    Norman Greenbaum — Spirit in the Sky
    Jefferson Airplane — Somebody to Love, White Rabbit
    America — A Horse with No Name
    Leonard Cohen — Suzanne

    Okay, I’ll stop now. But I could keep going.

    A Fifth Dimension cd is in my player now, so Age of Aquarius pops up regularly. Another thing in the changer is a collection of underground music from 1967-1973 from the Decca label, so there’s some psychedelia and other counter-culture music from a lot of groups I’ve never heard of (Leafhound, East of Eden, Bulldog Breed, Granny’s Intentions) along with some more familiar ones (Ten Years After, Moody Blues, Caravan).

    And Ann and I were recently discussing Jackie DeShannon, who opened for the Beatles back when Ann saw them, and pretty much all she remembered about her was thinking “Get off the stage, bring the boys on!”

    1. george Post author

      Jeff, I have other CD compilations with the songs you list. Probably every opening act for The Beetles got the same reception.

    2. wolf

      Jeff, thanks for that least – it brings back fond memories!
      Yes, I was a kind of hippie – and when I got a job in 1969 I kept my beard and my long hair …
      Working as a consultant in IT people would often look strangely at me, but it seems my qualifications were more important.
      Typical was how I got my job (and continued as a consultant for the same company for more than 35 years – until I retired):
      I talked to an acquaintance in my favourite bar, telling him that I wasn’t happy in my “job” as a low level assistant mathematician becaue my prof and most of his people had gone to the USA. He said that he was working as a consultant and his company might have a job for me – they needed more high level people. So I got an appointment and went there. People there looked at this hippie, ok let’s test him.
      So I got a “Programmer’s Aptitude Tes the boss had brought from his old job at IBM. iIt essentially was one of these low level logic tests aka IQ tests which as a mathematician I ran through quickly. When I was done I went to the secretary wirh the results, she asked me if I had any problems and I said:
      No, I’m done …
      The following interview with the boss was a bit “strange” – what could we use a mathematician for? But when he saw my results …
      That was the time when Ted Codd started with the Relational Data Base concept – ideal for a mathematician, so I got that job and worked as a consultant and lecturer on Data Bases for many years …
      When I got a new customer often people would look strangely – once a bank manager said: Wow, a real Beatle!
      Those were the days!


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