Stoned Soul Picnic – The Fifth Dimension

THIS DAY IN MUSIC…………………………….on September 17th of 1968 The Fifth Dimension are awarded their second Gold record for their rendition of Laura Nyro’s “Stoned Soul Picnic”. The song reached #3 on the Billboard Pop chart and #2 on the R&B chart. The members of the 5th Dimension (the five original members were Billy Davis Jr., Florence LaRue, Marilyn McCoo, Lamonte McLemore, and Ronald Townson) loved this song and were shocked to find out it was written by a Caucasian 20-year-old girl from New York City named Laura Nyro. After this song became a hit, they recorded several other Nyro songs, including “Sweet Blindness,” “Blowin’ Away” and “Save The Country. Bones Howe, who engineered the 5th Dimension track “Up-Up and Away,” became the group’s producer and introduced them to this song. Howe explained in the book By the Time We Got to Woodstock: The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Revolution of 1969: “Laura (Nyro) was a good friend and I used to visit her in New York whenever I was there and she made me tuna fish sandwiches. She was great and I was a huge fan and I recorded enough of her songs so that there could be a 5th Dimension album of all Laura Nyro songs. I believe she was really an important songwriter and brought poetry to her work that kept it from being just pop. But she went where she went and the world didn’t follow.” “Stoned” doesn’t always mean getting high on marijuana. In this case, it refers to drinking alcohol and having a good time at a glorious picnic – Nyro mentions wine and moonshine in the lyrics as the beverages of choice. The song was not released as a single in the UK.