This Day In Rock: The Mamas & the Papas
John Phillips was born on August 30, 1935 in Parris Island, South Carolina US.
Phillips began his recording career in 1960 as a member of pop singing group the Smoothies, but the following year formed the Journeymen with Scott McKenzie and Dick Weissman. This popular harmony folk act completed three albums marked by the artist's growing songwriting abilities.
He relaunched his old group as the New Journeymen with his wife Michelle Phillips and Marshall Brickman. His compositions were by now being recorded by the Kingston Trio, but as traditional folk began embracing elements of rock, so Phillips forged a more contemporary perspective, notably with the Mamas And The Papas.
Evocative songs, including 'California Dreamin'' (1965), 'Monday Monday' (1966) and 'Creeque Alley' (1967) helped established this act as one of the finest of its era, while Phillips also penned the anthemic 'San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair)' for former colleague McKenzie. The artist drew contemporaneous plaudits as chief organizer of the Monterey Pop Festival, but internal disaffection led to the demise of his group in 1968.
In 1970 he completed John Phillips: The Wolfking Of LA, a superb set redolent of his erst while band but infused with C&W affectations, before completing an ill-fated Mamas And The Papas reunion album.
In 1981, he re-formed The Mamas & the Papas with his daughter Mackenzie Phillips, Spanky McFarlane and Denny Doherty. Throughout the rest of his life, Phillips toured with various incarnations of this group.
Phillips died of heart failure on March 18, 2001, at the age of 65.
In 2001, the tracks of the Half Stoned or The Lost Album album were released as ‘Pay Pack & Follow’ a few months after Phillips' death. The tracks ha been recorded in London in 1973 with the musical contributions of the Stones and the production of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, intended to be released on Rolling Stones Records label.
‘Zulu Warrior’ - from ‘Pay Pack & Follow’ (written by Phillips and Jagger)