Brewer & Shipley’s ’71 Hit Song Got Them Labeled As “Subversives”



"One Toke Over The Line" became a Top 10 hit in 1971, and was largely responsible for introducing singing duo Brewer & Shipley to the masses. While the record-buying public was casting its vote of approval by buying the single, Vice President Spiro Agnew labeled Brewer & Shipley as "subversives.” He then strong-armed the FCC to ban the song from the airwaves, just as it was peaking on the charts. At the time, The Lawrence Welk Show — the wholesome musical variety show — was attempting to broaden its appeal by including current pop songs, and featured the song on the show. After being introduced by accordionist Myron Floren, show regulars Gail Farrell and Dick Dale launched into a wholesome rendition of “One Toke Over the Line.” At the close of the song, Lawrence Welk looked on approvingly and said "And there you heard a modern spiritual by Gail and Dale." Apparently, he wasn't aware that the song didn't fit into the gospel genre.