The Establishment

Come on, people -- Stop Fightin', Start Lovin'

The first 45rpm single in Frank's Vinyl Museum is brought to us by Starday-King Records in Nashville (a city that seems to have been quite adept at producing this kind of thrift-store quality record). I was drawn to this disc by its title -- The Establishment. What a name for a band! What were these guys thinking? That they'd be the "alternative" rock band for sensible folks who didn't identify with the counterculture? Or did they once hear some hippies talking about "the establishment" and mistake it for a cool buzzword?

I didn't care much for the "A" side of this single (In My Heart I Am A Free Man), but the "B" side is a classic -- Stop Fightin' Start Lovin'. The 60's and 70's produced a lot of antiwar songs, of course, but you'd have to look far and wide to find one as powerful and eloquent as this one:

    Now everyone I know is joinin' in the show
    They're shoutin' out what must be done
    Some say to fight for peace, while others holler "cease"
    Oh, nothing's won
    Too much talk and not enough doin'
    Can only lead to wreck and to ruin
    Come on people -- stop fightin' start lovin!

John Lennon might be best remembered for telling the world to "Give Peace A Chance", but I wouldn't be suprised if it was The Establishment that finally drove Nixon to close the door on Vietnam. Power to the People!

The Establishment
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Stop Fightin' Start Lovin' (Real Audio) All I am saying, is give this a chance.

See Also: The Love Generation

Your Comments:

Dean Chapman ( says:
My then wife Jean Anne and I were in The Establishment from about 1972-1975. Being around D'arniel Pershing, Larry Meredith, Jimmy Pakala, Bill Bowersock, Lois, Mic Bell, and Diane Pershing was so much fun. I've been in touch will Bill; does anyone know what happened to Jimmy and Dee Dee? Glad to hear that Larry is doing well in Memphis. Where's Lois? Diane? Jean Anne and I came from the Pipers, a similar pop group. While in those two groups I must have performed at every major show room in Vegas/Reno/Tahoe. Great memories. Sadly, few of those showrooms exist today. You know you're an old-timer when you can remember Foxy's penny slots in Vegas (Sahara and the Strip). (02-19-2012)

Michele LaBonte ( says:
Hi Everyone! I am proud to say that my aunt Lois Jean LaBonte was a member of The Establishment. She is pictured in the group photo on this page at the bottom of the group, wearing a hat. I have wonderful memories of going with her to the Hollywood Bowl where they were performing and I got to meet Englebert Humperdinck in person! The group was one of the best performing groups in the 60s and 70s!! I don't have any memorabilia from that time period of the group and would love it if you have old photos, songs, etc. to share!! Thank you for all your thoughtful comments!
sincerely, :) Michele LaBonte Corvallis, Oregon (11-11-2011)

Jonathan Arthur ( says:
I was in the Establishment in 1976, we toured with Perry Como. The name "The Establishment" was owned by a management company, and they would hire singer/dancers to fit whatever the client needed (same with the New Christy Minstrels or Up With America). When I was in it, they needed 4 guys and 4 gals. Over the years I've met a few people who were in it at other times. I know that the next permutation after us was all women. The guy who ran the company was a cheapskate, we got paid less than the average amount for singing/dancing behind a star of Perry Como's magnitude. When Perry found out that we had to pay for our own hotel rooms, he reimbursed us. By the way, we went from being The Establishment in the first half of the show, then changed to the Ray Charles Singers after the intermission. (01-03-2011)

Shannon ( says:
OK some loved it and some hated it,I haven't heard it. Was looking for info on the band since I found a signed picture of them and the name sounded familiar. Can anyone tell me if someone somewhere might be interested in the pic? (12-13-2009)

Phyllis Lovit ( says:
Hey Phil Luttrell I was a member of the wonderful group "The Establishment" with your cousin Larry who was a fantastic singer. I'm the girl at the top of the picture with long dark hair. This album did not do justice to the talented members of this group. We were a performing group of singers and dancers and played to very appreciative audiences in Las Vegas as well as "The Greek" and many other notable theaters on LA. We also appeared on the Merv Griffen Show,TV specials with Perry Como,Shirley Bassey, Paul Anka, Ann-Margaret and many other stars of that era. Standing ovations...yes we had many. Tell Larry hello from Phyllis Mitchell Lovit. (08-15-2009)

Phil Luttrell ( says:
I'm pretty much an expert on the "Establishment", as their lead singer, Larry Merideth, is my first cousin. I had a box of these singles (not LP's) when they came out in 69. They were a singing and dancing group who had considerable success in the 60's, most notably as the background group for "The Jonathan Winters show" on TV. You can look it up on IDMB. They also played on TV's"Hollywood Palace". They backed up many stars in Vegas. They broke up in 1970, many have passed away. Larry made an album with his new group "Pakalameradith" on electra asylum where he worked as an A&R man for years after. His vocals backed Rare Earth, Billy Thorpe, and Eddy Rabbit recordings. He now lives just outside Memphis with his wife. (01-19-2009)

kayo (wpos2 attt roadrunnerdot com) says:
Up with People couldn't have put it better. (08-01-2008)

jim ferraro ( says:
I found THE ESTABLISHMENT l.p. in the dollar bins at a local used record store here in SAN DIEGO. THE cover of the l.p. just blew me away i had to pick it up. Man what a total surprise when this platter hit the turntable. for collectors of lounge with a touch of soul, funk, and rock this record is for you................ (04-13-2007)

Sounds too close as a ripoff of the early 70's pop hit "United We Stand". Well, maybe more like Motown meets Paul Williams. Maybe it was the same group. Anyway, the dog said, BARF! BARF! (09-29-2005)

hannibal ( says:
everyone here send me 40 dollars, or I will tell all the dogs of the world that people are made up of bones. (04-01-2005)

Tom says:
You must try their album, they do a great version of Hendrix's "Are you experienced"! (02-21-2005)

Lizette says:
C'mon, these kids couldn't have been an actual band, could they? They look like someone advertised in the Nashville Picayune for a random group of wholesome-looking hipsters (hard enough to find anything resembling hipsters in Nashville, no matter what year.) The same sort that posed for albums covers all during that era! Sure, that's how they created the Monkees, but THEY soon proved they could play and sing together, and pretty well at that. Did these people ever do a concert, I wonder? Was this like "Up With People", random kids recruited to tour? Or were they the 1960's version of Milli Vanilli, hired to sex up (in a G-rated way) the album cover whilst grubby session musicians cranked out the tunes? (02-06-2005)

amanda hugandkiss says:
satanic messages are weird who wants to come to my house to listen to hanson there mmmmbop (01-30-2005)

Martha Pogue ( says:
Still sucks after six years. (01-05-2005)

Mad Dr. Matt ( says:
I've said it before, I'll say it again. Nashville is, and always had been, the center of Satanic activity on earth. This song neatly proves my point. Covens of witches are currently penning totally inane country tunes and using them to control the minds of people in Red America. Ohio goes for Bush - coincidence? I think not! (11-16-2004)

Dale says:
I pray for the gaurds who beat my daughter 47 bruises.I still cry,God bring her home to me.
Prayers,D.Dale (11-15-2004)

KERRY & EDWARDS IN '04! says:
KERRY & EDWARDS IN '04! (10-28-2004)

Joli ( says:
This song reminds me of the toon, United We Stand, Divided We Fall. I absolutely love it. Hey... to say it's mere thriftstore quality... this album deserves a little higher place in the hearts & souls of all men... wouldn't you say? I ask this in all earnestness & seriousness for I am well versed in " the Importance Of Being Earnest." Sesame Street should do a feature without Burt entitled "the Importance Of Being Ernie." (10-14-2004)

Freak Brothers says:
Right on!!.....*hooooot* (05-10-2004)

moxiebean says:
I remember we used to have a copy of this 45 - my mom got it as a local Baltimore radio station giveaway sometime in the late 60's-early 70's. I think we played it once & then chucked it into the back of an endtable drawer, where it probably still sits today. (02-18-2004)

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