The Mamas & The Papas
About The Mamas & The Papas
With hazy melodies and rich vocal arrangements, folk-pop foursome The Mamas & The Papas were a touchstone of California’s psychedelic music scene in the late 1960s.
• Husband-wife couple John and Michelle Phillips founded the band with Denny Doherty, who suggested adding his former Mugwumps bandmate Cass Elliot.
• The Mamas and the Papas first recorded together as backing singers on singer Barry McGuire’s 1965 album This Precious Time, though they had released their own debut single, “Go Where You Wanna Go,” by the time McGuire’s LP came out.
• Featuring the singles “Monday, Monday” and “California Dreamin’,” the group’s first album, 1966’s If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears, hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200.
• Turbulent interpersonal relations prompted the group to fire Michelle Phillips in June 1966. Jill Gibson replaced her for three months until Phillips rejoined the group in August.
• Though The Mamas & The Papas released five studio albums and 17 singles between 1966 and 1971, the group was effectively over by the end of 1968, when Elliot left to resume her solo career.
• The band’s final album, 1971’s People Like Us, was a contractual obligation that the musicians made piecemeal, rarely recording together in the studio.
• Elliot died in 1974, and Michelle Phillips began a successful acting career. John Phillips formed The New Mamas and The Papas in 1980 with two of his children, Jeffrey and MacKenzie Phillips, and Doherty. The latter-day group never recorded an album.
ORIGINLos Angeles, CA