Saturday, February 12, 2011

Mason Proffit: Eugene Pratt

Today’s bubbling under song did not chart on Billboard’s Hot 100 when it was released in 1971. From Mason Proffit’s third LP “Last Night I had the Strangest Dream,” “Eugene Pratt” was a Vietnam War protest song. Although not well known, Mason Proffit was Chicago based country-rock band that was fronted by Terry and John Michael Talbot.

Although the song was panned by Top 40 radio, it became an underground classic where its anti-war message hit home with the audience who had a bit of problem with our “police action” in Southeast Asia. Although of draft age at the time the war was winding down, I would have gone if my number was called and done my duty – even though like Eugene Pratt, I had reservations why we were there in the first place.

I just love the production on this song by one the Midwest’s favorite and most obscure bands of the late sixties and early seventies. “Last Night I had the Strangest Dream” was the band’s only album for the Ampex label.

Their first two LPs were on the Flying Tiger Freight Line’s own record label – Happy Tiger Records. From 1972 to 1975, Mason Proffit released three albums with Warner Brothers - one was a repackaging of their first two LPs on Happy Tiger. In addition, the first Talbot Brothers’ album was originally released on Warners to fulfill the band’s contract for four albums. “That’s the way it was; that’s the way it is.” In more recent times, Terry Talbot reformed the band and released a fifth LP on Warners in 2005 under their name. 

See also the post of "Two Hangman" from Mason Proffit's debut album.

1 comment:

  1. I wonder if Eugene Pratt was a real person?