I have had the musical Hair stuck in my mind since a friend of mine sent me links to some hair covers. I mean, covers of songs from Hair. And there were a LOT of them, only some of which are represented here.
Fifty-five years ago, Hair debuted off-Broadway (October 17, 1967). It opened on Broadway in April 1968 and ran for 1,750 performances. Like certain phenomena – Laura Nyro for a brief time, and The Beatles forever, the songs were covered by a variety of artists.
I saw a production of Hair in Binghamton c. 1975, and I was captivated by it. Conversely, when I saw a technically superior production at Proctors Theatre in Schenectady in the 2010s, it was less satisfying. It felt as though the performances treated the material as nostalgic camp. And maybe it is. But it generated some great songs. You may find even more versions listed at Secondhand Songs.
Aquarius – The Undisputed Truth
Sodomy – Stan Kenton (!)
Ain’t got no/I Got Life – Nina Simone, #94 pop in 1969; I have this
Hair – The Cowsills, #2 pop for two weeks in 1969. The group took some heat for excising one verse. Did people think this verse was going to appear on the radio in 1969?
They’ll be ga ga at the go go
When they see me in my toga
My toga made of blond
My hair like Jesus wore it
Hallelujah I adore it
Hallelujah Mary loved her son
Why don’t my mother love me?
Easy to Be Hard – Jennifer, #128 pop in 1969; Three Dog Night, #4 pop in 1969; of course, I have this
Frank Mills – Lemonheads
Hare Krishna – James Last
Where Do I Go? – Carla Thomas, #38 RB, #86 pop in 1968; I own this
Walking in Space – Quincy Jones
Good Morning Starshine – Oliver, #3 for two weeks pop in 1969; Strawberry Alarm Clock, #87 pop in 1969
The Flesh Failures (Let the Sunshine In) – Jennifer, B-side of Easy To Be Hard
Munich: Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring / White Boys / Love to Love You Baby – Ariana DeBose, from Summer: The Donna Summer Musical
Aquarius / Let the Sunshine In – The Fifth Dimension. #1 for six weeks pop, #1 for two weeks adult contemporary; #6 RB in 1969. I love the story about how the group came to record the song, involving a lost wallet.
Querschnitt, 20 videos
Jennifer became Jennifer Warnes, an excellent interpreter of the music of Leonard Cohen