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Died On This Date (August 18, 2012) Scott McKenzie / Had Hit With “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)”

Posted by themusicsover on August 18, 2012

Scott McKenzie (Born Phillip Blondheim)
January 10, 1939 – August 18, 2012

Scott McKenzie is perhaps best remembered for his 1967 hit, “San Francisco (Be Sure To Where Flowers In Your Hair).”  Written by John Phillips of the Mamas & the Papas, it took the song less than a month to reach the Top 5 of the US singles chart and went on to sell some 7 million copies worldwide.  It also topped the charts in the UK as well as other countries around the world.  More than just a pop hit, the song was a calling card for the hippie lifestyle that was flourishing in San Francisco at the time and was credited for bringing 1000s of young people to the city during the late ’60s.  Any respectable collection of songs from the era is incomplete without it.  Born in Florida, McKenzie became friends with Phillips while the two were still children growing up in Virgina.  The two played together from time to time through high school, and in 1961, Phillips invited McKenzie to join a band he was forming, the Mamas & the Papas.  McKenzie declined since he was more interested in pursuing a solo career.  Two years later, he signed to Lou Adler’s Ode Records. McKenzie’s debut album included “San Francisco” which was co-produced by Phillips who also played guitar on it.  That release was followed by another minor hit or two before McKenzie retired from making records in the early ’70s.  During the mid ’80s, he toured with a re-formed version of the Mamas & the Papas, and continued to do so until his retirement in 1998.  McKenzie co-wrote “Kokomo,” a #1 hit for the Beach Boys in 1988.  Scott McKenzie was 73 when he passed away in his home on August 18, 2012.  Cause of death was not immediately released but he had reportedly been ill prior to his death.

Thanks to Paul Bearer for the assist.

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Scott McKenzie

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