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Album Notes: the Mamas and the Papas' "If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears"

Friday, May 25: 12 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
The Mamas and the Papas censored cover for If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears

For the week of May 21, 1966, the Mamas and the Papas debut album, If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears, peaked at Number One on the Billboard 200. The group of New York folk vagabonds whose post-beatnik image and soaring harmonies bridged folk rock and imminent psychedelia had emerged from the "New Folk" movement of the late Fifties and early Sixties, delivering a seminal debut album with an unexpectedly controversial cover. 

John Phillips had been a member of the Journeymen, a folk trio that also included Dick Weissmann and Scott McKenzie. (McKenzie would go on record a song of Phillips’, “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair),” that became a hit during the summer of 1967.) In a similar vein, Cass Elliot had been in the Big Three, while Denny Doherty belonged to the Halifax Three. Both Elliot and Doherty came together in the Mugwumps, which also included John Sebastian and Zal Yanovsky, later of the Lovin’ Spoonful. Michelle Phillips was an aspiring model (born Holly Michelle Gilliam) and the wife of John Phillips.

the mamas and the papas california dreaminJohn, Michelle and Doherty performed in the New Journeymen, a temporary group put together to fulfill contractual obligations after the ...


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The Story of "Ohio"

Thursday, May 17: 11 a.m.
Posted by Ivan Sheehan
The single for Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's "Ohio"/"Find The Cost Of Freedom"

In the first week of May 1970, Hall of Fame Inductee Chrissie Hynde was 18 years old and a Kent State University student, but it wasn't a typical week.

"[After days of protesting] Saturday morning rolled around to news that a curfew had been imposed upon the city... We were all fired up from our spectacle of a protest the night before," wrote Hynde in Reckless: My Life as a Pretender. "The ROTC – the Resident Officers’ Training Corps – was a very unpopular presence on campus. Anything 'military' was unwelcome... obviously, it had to go... a party atmosphere was in full effect. Every dorm room blasted music out: Hendrix, the Beatles, Crosby Stills & Nash, Led Zeppelin, Steppenwolf, Ritchie Havens, Jefferson Airplane... then the real party began. An A-team of longhairs charged down the hill, hurling railroad flares through the windows of the ROTC building. Old and rickety, it went up in flames." The tension on campus continued to escalate leading up to the afternoon of May 4, 1970.

"The grassy, rolling common was teeming with students," recalled Hynde. "I’d never seen it so packed...I pushed my way through the crowd…. Then I heard the tatatatatatatatatat sound. I thought ...


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