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Posts Tagged ‘The Mamas & the Papas’

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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Died On This Date (July 29, 1974) Mama Cass Elliot / The Mamas & The Papas

Posted by themusicsover on July 29, 2010

Cass Elliot (Born Ellen Cohen)
September 19, 1941 – July 29, 1974

casselliottMama Cass, as she was known, is best remembered as one of the singing women of ’60s folk rock band, The Mamas & The Papas.  She, along with Michelle Philips, John Phillips and Denny Doherty made records that are considered to be staples of the psychedelic pop scene of the late ’60s and early ’70s.  Such hits included “California Dreamin'” and “Monday Monday.”   Born in Baltimore, Elliot moved to New York City to pursue a career on Broadway.  After appearing in a few musicals, Elliot set her sights on the local folk music scene, eventually falling in with Doherty who would later recruit the Phillips’ to form The Mamas & The Papas.  The group worked together until 1971, after which Elliot released solo records, including the hit, “Dream A Little Dream of Me.”  She was also a popular personality on television, appearing regularly on such programs as Hollywood Squares, The Mike Douglas Show and Match Game.    Contrary to the popular myth that she choked to death on a sandwich, Mama Cass died of a heart attack in her sleep following a London performance.  She was just 32.  The Who’s Keith Moon died in the same room four years later.

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Dream a Little Dream: The Cass Elliott Collection - Cass Elliot

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