The year was 1967, filled with many historical and cultural events. A gallon of milk cost $1.03, a gallon of gas was 33 cents, and Lyndon B. Johnson was President of the United States. During this time, Scott McKenzie’s song, ‘San Francisco,’ was a huge hit, reaching the top of the charts in the UK, New Zealand, and Germany. It peaked at number four in the US Billboard Hot 100 and Cash Box Top 100.
Scott McKenzie, born Philip Wallach Blondheim, was a North Carolina native who formed a doo-wop act called the Abstracts with his friend John Phillips, who later included the Mamas and the Papas. McKenzie and Phillips moved to New York, where comedian Jackie Curtis suggested that Blondheim change his name to Scott McKenzie because he resembled a Scottie dog. McKenzie and Phillips eventually formed the Journeymen with banjo player Dick Weissman, and they recorded three albums before splitting in 1964. Although Phillips invited McKenzie to join the Mamas and the Papas, McKenzie opted for a solo career. However, he remained close to Phillips, who wrote ‘San Francisco’ and had McKenzie sing on the record. The song became a counterculture anthem, and it was a reflection of the social change occurring during that period.
McKenzie released two more solo albums before retiring from music and relocating to Virginia Beach to escape the limelight. However, he made a comeback in the late 1980s, touring with the Mamas and the Papas and penning the Beach Boys hit ‘Kokomo.’ In 2002, McKenzie performed at the 20th anniversary of the dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
‘San Francisco’ was more than just a song. It was a cultural phenomenon, representing the spirit of the 1960s. The song spoke to the youth of America, who were questioning the establishment and demanding change. It was a call to action to improve the world, and it still resonates today. Its legacy lives on and will always be remembered as a masterpiece of that decade.
The audience’s positive reactions to this song were always remarkable. Even today, people express their love for the song in YouTube comments. One commenter, Ricardo, said, “RIP Scott McKenzie, you will always be remembered. This song was a huge hit in 1967, and I still hear it today.” Another commenter, Danny Miles, said, “This song is a shining beacon representing that incredible time in the 60s. It can’t be left out of any list of the truly iconic songs that were made around and about those times.”
The song’s message is universal, and it is still relevant today. It is a reminder that we have the power to make a difference and that we can come together to make the world a better place. It is a song that everyone should listen to because it has the potential to inspire and uplift people.
Watch the ‘San Francisco’ video and share it with your friends because it is a song everyone should hear. It is a song that represents hope and the power of the human spirit. It is a reminder of the past, a call to action in the present, and a beacon of hope for the future.