Friday, November 29, 2013

Nov. 29: Denny Doherty of the Mamas & Papas was born on this date in 1940...

... he died on January 19, 2007 from an abdominal aneurysm.

Between 1965 and 1968, the Mamas & Papas released five albums and 11 Top 40 hit singles. They have sold nearly 100 million records worldwide. Denny sang lead on one of the group's biggest hits, "Monday, Monday."

Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Dennis Gerrard Stephen Doherty was most widely known as a founding member of the 1960s musical group The Mamas & the Papas.

Doherty started his musical career in Halifax in 1956 with a band called the Hepsters. In 1960, at the age of 19, Doherty co-founded a folk group called The Colonials in Halifax, Nova Scotia. When they got a record deal with Columbia Records, they changed their name to The Halifax Three. The band recorded two LPs and had a minor hit, "The Man Who Wouldn't Sing Along With Mitch," but ultimately broke up in 1963.

In 1963, Doherty became friends with Cass Elliot when she was with a band called "The Big Three." Then, while on tour with "The Halifax III," he met John Phillips and his new wife, model Michelle Gilliam.

A few months later, The Halifax III dissolved, and Doherty and their accompanist, Zal Yanovsky, were left broke in Hollywood. Elliot and convinced her manager to hire them, and Doherty and Yanovsky joined the Big Three - increasing the number of band members to four (not five.) They then they changed their name to "The Mugwumps."

(Continued below CDs...)

HIGHLY Recommended (Links to Amazon):

The Mamas & the Papas - Greatest HitsIf You Can Believe Your Eyes & EarsGold

About this time, John Phillips' new band, "The New Journeymen," needed a replacement for tenor Marshall Brickman. Doherty filled in for the remaining tour dates. When the New Journeymen called it quits in early 1965, Elliot was invited into the formation of a new band,  since with two femaole members they could no longer be called the Journeymen." They first chose "The Magic Cyrcle."

Six months later in September 1965, the group signed a recording contract with Dunhill Records. Changing their name to The Mamas & the Papas. According to Doherty, Elliot had the inspiration for the band's new name; The Mamas and the Papas. The band soon began to record their debut album, If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears.

In late 1965, Doherty and Michelle Phillips started an affair. They were able to keep it secret during the early days of the band's new-found success. The band broke up in the summer of 1968 and Cass Elliott embarked on a solo career.

In 1982, Doherty joined a reconstitution of the Mamas and the Papas consisting of John Phillips, his daughter Mackenzie Phillips and Elaine Spanky McFarlane, which toured and performed old standards and new tunes written by John Phillips.

Doherty produced an off-Broadway show called Dream a Little Dream, which was his version of the Mamas & the Papas story.

The Mamas and the Papas were inducted to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1998, the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2000 and the Hit Parade Hall of Fame in 2009.


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