Friday, January 10, 2014

January 10: Scott McKenzie - "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)" - was born on this date in 1939...


... he died on August 18, 2012. A statement on McKenzie's website says the 73-year-old battled Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a disease that affects the nervous system, and had been in and out of the hospital since 2010.

 Born Philip Blondheim in Jacksonville, Florida, McKenzie grew up in North Carolina and Virginia, where he became friends with John Phillips. In the mid 1950s, he sang briefly with Tim Rose in a high school group called The Singing Strings, and later he, Phillips, Mike Boran and Bill Cleary formed a doo-wop band, The Abstracts. In New York, The Abstracts became The Smoothies and recorded two singles with Decca Records, produced by Milt Gabler.

In 1961 Phillips and McKenzie met Dick Weissman and formed The Journeymen, which recorded three albums for Capitol Records. TheJourneymen broke up in 1964, as McKenzie wanted to perform on his own. So Phillips formed the group The Mamas & the Papas with Denny Doherty, Cass Elliot and his wife, Michelle Phillips. The group soon moved to California. Two years later, McKenzie followed from New York and signed with Lou Adler's Ode Records.

Phillips wrote and produced "San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair)", McKenzie recorded in 1967. John Phillips played guitar on the recording and Michelle Phillips played bells. The bass line of the song was supplied by session musician Joe Osborn. It became a Top 10 hit in the United States and a number one in the UK and several other countries. It sold over seven million copies globally, and was awarded a gold disc.

(Continued below video and Amazon portals ...)

(Press album cover for direct link to the entire Amazon Website):
Anthology 1960-1970

McKenzie followed the song with "Like An Old Time Movie," also written and produced by Phillips, which was a minor hit. His first album, The Voice of Scott McKenzie was followed with an album called Stained Glass Morning. He stopped recording in the early 1970s and lived in Joshua Tree, California, and Virginia Beach.

In 1986, he started singing with a new version of The Mamas and the Papas. With Terry Melcher, Mike Love and John Phillips, he co-wrote the number 1 single for the Beach Boys, "Kokomo" in 1988.

By 1998, he had retired from the road version of The Mamas and Papas, and currently resides in Los Angeles, California.


For more about Scott, visit his Website at -


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