Folk music had its heyday during the 1960s. Everyone remembers Peter, Paul and Mary. Even back in the ‘70s, I used to listen “Puff The Magic Dragon” about 80 times day. I’m surprised my mother didn’t buy earplugs. Anyway, it was a time when many were embracing the peace movement and folk lent itself to that. This clip shows one of the more popular groups of the time playing.
We see The Mamas and Papas singing together on “The Ed Sullivan Show”. The group was comprised of John Phillips, his wife Michelle Phillips, Denny Doherty, and Cass Elliot, whom many knew as Mama Cass. They are all having a great time during the song, with Mama Cass even kicking her heels a few times in rhythm to the beat. They show why they were such a popular group at the time.
This song that we hear in this far-too-short clip is “California Dreaming”. Rolling Stone magazine ranked it high in its list of the greatest songs ever. It reached as high as No. 4 on Billboard’s “Hot 100” list and it stayed there for 17 weeks in 1966. The group released five album in its four-year run and broke up for good in ’71. Sadly, there would be no more reunions after that for myriad reasons .
Only one member of the band still lives, Michelle Phillips. The men lived into their sixties, while Mama Cass died in 1974 due to heart failure from obesity. There was a persistent rumor that she’d died from choking on a ham sandwich, but that has been dismissed as false. She had been performing solo shows at the time of her death. It’s a shame that the group didn’t manage to sustain its earlier success.
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