Mar 1, 2013
Also referred to as The Mama's and The Papa's (or simply as Mamas and Papas), the group recorded hit albums and singles from 1965 to 1971.
So far, the band has sold 100-million recordings globally and their songs are still selling today.
The four Southern California musicians were the first sexually integrated musical group in history to hit the top of the music charts at #1. The Mamas & The Papas were all about gender equality before the Women's Liberation movement took off.
The Mamas & The Papas defined the word 'hip' in the 1960s, no doubt about it.
Aside from their timeless anthem, "California Dreamin", what makes the legacy and legend of The Mamas & The Papas so enduring?
Four very distinctive individuals came together for a brief period of time to cause a musical, cultural and social earthquake in California that still perpetuates shockwaves around the world:
THE HITMAKERJohn Phillips was the songwriter, creator, organizer, director, producer, arranger and genius behind one of California's most globally influential trends. In addition to orchestrating The Mamas & The Papas' ascent to #1 on both the album charts and singles charts, 'Papa John' will forever be remembered for creating the Monterey Pop Festival and the Summer of Love.
THE ROMANTICDenny Doherty was the sensitive crooner with a voice that charmed millions of record buyers worldwide. The singer's teen-idol looks earned 'Papa Denny' adoration from teenage girls who pronounced him "cuter than any of The Beatles". He went on to a career as a solo artist and as the host of TV shows after his days as the California Dreamboat of The Mamas & The Papas.
THE SUPERMODELMichelle Phillips was the blonde and beautiful definition of the California Girl in the '60s who became a Hollywood movie and TV actress. A Southern California native, 'Mama Michelle' was targeted by paparazzi cameras, and her 'hippie chick' look was copied by millions of young females around the world. Michelle is the last surviving member of The Mamas & The Papas.
Cass Elliot was the funny, outspoken and politically-active Grand Diva with one of the most recognizable voices in music history. 'Mama Cass' went on to a stellar career as a solo artist, performer and actress who dominated TV screens, winning hearts along the way. Since her death in the '70s, Cass Elliot remains the most beloved member of The Mamas & The Papas.
This was a pop group which, in the conventional sense, was never supposed to 'make it'. In 1965, most successful musical acts were scrubbed, tailored and polished to artificial perfection. John, Denny, Michelle and Cass made their debut wearing thrift shop chic'.
No wonder the first Mamas & Papas album was entitled, If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears.
The Mamas & The Papas