One of the last connections to the Mamas And The Papas, singer Scott McKenzie, passed away Saturday. He was 73. He had been suffering from Gullian-Barre Syndrome, a disease affecting the nervous system.
I swear, he was joined at the hip with John Phillips. Yes, THAT John Phillip. Phillips and McKenzie sang together in the late 50's in bands called The Abstracts and The Smoothies. In the early 60's, the pair ran into Dick Weissman and formed a very popular folk trio, The Journymen. That's Phillips in the middle and McKenzie on the right in this clip:
The Beatles did serious damage to the early 60's folk music boom, and The Journeymen broke up in '64. Now I'm NOT going to post "Creeque Alley" here, but Scott was asked by John to become a member of The Mamas And The Papas, in an interview saying that he wanted to see if he could do something by himself, so he declned the offer. Leaving his New York City base, he moved to Los Angeles and signed with Ode Records.
Lou Adler owned Ode, and was an ex manager of The Mamas And The Papas. He fixed McKenzie back up with Phillips, and John wrote and produced Scott's BIG 1967 hit.
John also wrote and produced his followup, "Like An Old Time Movie".....
....which was a minor hit, and eventually, Scott gave up performing. At least until 1988.
John reformed The Mamas And Papas that year, with Spanky McFarland, his daughter McKenzie and Scott. They weren't great, but they weren't that bad, either.....
....and in 1988 collaberated with John, Mike Love and Terry Melcher to write this little ditty for The Beach Boys.
By the mid 90's, Scott had pretty much stopped performing, showing up every so often for a special event now and then, like this PBS special produced by TJ Lubinsky in late 2004.
Sounds as good now as it did back then.