One Toke Over the Line - Brewer & Shipley.jpg

Billboard Top 40 Hits 1971: #26: “One Toke Over The Line”- Brewer & Shipley. February 13, 1971.

  • Single: “One Toke Over The Line”- Brewer & Shipley
  • Record Company- Kama Sutra Records
  • Genre: Folk Rock
  • Written by Mike Brewer and Tom Shipley
  • Time: 3:16
  • B-side:”Oh Mommy”
  • Album- Tarkio
  • Grade- C+
  • Peaked at #10

Brewer & Shipley were a folk rock duo formed in Los Angeles- “One Toke Over The Line” was their only Top 40 hit. Mike Brewer explains the origins of this song- “One day we were pretty much stoned and all and Tom says, “Man, I’m one toke over the line tonight.” I liked the way that sounded and so I wrote a song around it.”

Believe it or not department- this song was done on the Lawrence Welk Show- did they know what they were singing about?


  1. The Welk show…I mean how could they be that naïve? It’s hard to believe they did not know but they were the last people who would want to start trouble. I wonder if someone suggested it and was having fun with them.

    • I get a vision of bubbles when I think of Welk…and guess that and Don Ho. I get a good laugh out of it and then I feel sorry for them.

    • I remember my grandma would always watch the Welk show on Saturday nights.. so at least it brings back good memories [although at the time I can’t say I enjoyed the show even as a kid.. he did talk kinda funny….

    • Yes that is where I watched it…at my grandparents house. It must have been a Grandparents thing.

      No, I would be impatiently waiting for “New Zoo Review” while waiting for the Welk show to go off.

    • now that i think of it- at the time there were few things in music- that were relevant to say the 55 and older crowd back then- their music certainly didn’t get the play that the music of the 60’s onward get today.

    • No it didn’t. It’s almost as if that music stopped. The “pop” music of earlier was all but forgotten. The big band era didn’t continue on like even the 50s rock and roll did. Glen Miller, Duke Ellington and others.
      Although I do like some of that but when that generation started to go…the music did also.

    • In thinking of that generation- while I am not saying they didn’t like their music- certainly they had a lot on their plate- the depression/ World War II– maybe as a group they just didn’t think of entertainment the way say the 60’s generation on has..

    • Well it’s gone back to that in a way. It’s almost it’s come full circle. Not for the same reasons at all. I can see that back then. They were too busy trying to survive.

      When we grew up…and I believe I can speak for you also…we lived and breathed music. At least for me it was part of me. It was what I identified with…

      Now it is more disposable…one because of the choices and the throwaway music. It’s not taken as serious. When albums Sgt Pepper, Tommy, Dark Side of the Moon,Born to Run, etc they were events…we took it serious…

      Now? Meh… seems to be the attitude.

    • 3 or my 4 grandparents- I know didn’t view their leisure time- as I do mine. They took everything seriously- now my grandfather who was my hero. For good or ill I think I take after him. He worked when he was at work but when that was over he enjoyed his down time.

    • My grandparents were like the three of your grandparents. I don’t remember one really relaxing until she got well up into her 80s….

      Even my parents…my dad enjoyed his downtime but didn’t have a playful spirit like I have…it was just different.

    • Same with my father. My father was a very responsible guy- he had a family and he took care of his family. When I look back it marvels me to realize how unselfish he was- both of my parents. It was hard to tell when my father was having fun- but he was he just didn’t show it.. generations of people change – I guess experiences have an impact on you. I imagine living through a great depression would impact you.

    • I was telling Bailey that I couldn’t imagine my dad playing a video game with me like I do with him…it’s not that he didn’t love me…it was just a unwritten rule there…

      The great depression did have a huge impact. I remember my grandmother would share anything to a point…one neighbor (not poor) would come over constantly borrowing sugar. My grandmother got tired of it…she took the sugar out of the sugar bowl and told the neighbor when she asked for sugar again…”I don’t have any sugar in the sugar bowl” just so she wouldn’t lie about it… she did NOT believe in banks either.

    • After my grandmother died and we were cleaning out her house- we found hundreds and hundreds of dollars she had hidden underneath the carpet– we figure to keep it away from my grandfather!

  2. I saw Brewer & Shipley perform at a rustic lodge in the southern Missouri Ozarks around 2005 or thereabouts. We spent a weekend there with friends, who liked the band more then we did. The only song I recognized was this one, which I never much liked to begin with. Was one of the longest 1 1/2 hours of my life.

    And the likely reason this was performed on the Lawrence Welk Show was that Jesus is mentioned in the song. I love that Welk called it a ‘spiritual’ song. What a doofus! Of course, they sucked what little soul the song had right out of it. My mom loved watching it, and I would cringe every time.

  3. Pingback: BILLBOARD TOP 40 HITS 1971: #26: ” ONE TOKE OVER THE LINE”- BREWER & SHIPLEY — slicethelife – The Elloe Recorder·

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