50 Years Ago, Redbone Made History With “Come and Get Your Love”

Native American rock group Redbone: (left to right) Lolly Vegas, Pat Vegas, Pete DePoe and Tony Bellamy, 18th November 1971
Jack Kay/Daily Express/Getty Images

50 years ago, the song “Come and Get Your Love” was one of the biggest hits and peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard Top 10. The catchy tune was a big deal as it was the first song by an all-Native and Mexican American band to reach the Billboard Top 10. The song is by the band Redbone, founded by brothers Pat and Lolly Vegas, and five decades later, it remains relevant as it has been heard on many commercials and even in the famous opening scene of the film Guardians of the Galaxy.

The Vegas brothers wanted to incorporate their upbringing into their music. According to Pat’s memoir, their father had Mexican and Native roots and their mother was Shoshone. Their grandfather taught them to play guitar as he was a musician himself. In the late ’50s, they began playing gigs around Los Angeles and decided to rebrand to Pat & Lolly Vegas (their surname was Vasquez but they drew inspiration from their stepfather’s name De La Vega).

Prior to forming the band Redbone, they had already found some fame as a duo and appeared on the show Shindig! in 1964 and the comedy It’s a Bikini World in 1967. When their fame grew, they decided to use their platform to help their Native roots. Pat said, “Our friends were going out there and marching and protesting. Because it was being overlooked. They saw us in Western movies being chased by the cowboys, and we didn’t want to be a part of that. We wanted to show that we had grown and we were part of the future.” So, they set out to form a band featuring only Native and Mexican American musicians and Redbone was born, which they said meant mixed race.

1970: Photo of Redbone

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

He added, “My mom was proud of her Native American roots, and I was too. So automatically, we knew what we wanted, and the sound came out that way, and it was beautiful. I just wanted to be real.” At first, the band created the song “We Were All Wounded at Wounded Knee” but CBS felt it was too controversial to release in the U.S. However, CBS felt their song “Come and Get Your Love” could be a hit. They were right and the song spent 18 weeks in the Top 40.

Pat concluded about the song, “It’s love all around, in every facet and every part of your being, you know? And that’s the message: What’s the matter with your mind and your sign? Come and get your love. In other words, where you come from and who you are doesn’t matter as much as what you believe, and what you feel.” What do you think about the song?


1974 (50 Years Ago)
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1974 (50 Years Ago)

January 2024

In this time capsule issue of ReMIND Magazine we look back 50 years ago to 1974!

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