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The Mamas and the Papas


1935

John Phillips was born.

1941

Cass Elliot was born.

1941

Denny Doherty was born.

1944

Michelle Phillips was born.

1964

John Phillips’ folk group, the Journeyman, disbands and reforms as a trio comprising Phillips, Denny Doherty and Michelle Phillips as the New Journeymen. They relocate to the Virgin Islands, where they are joined by Cass Elliot (late of the Mugwumps).

1965

Having named themselves the Mamas and the Papas, the quartet signs to Dunhill Record.

1966

The Mamas and the Papas’ debut single, “California Dreamin’,” reaches #4. Over time, it becomes the Mamas and the Papas’ signature song.

1966

“Monday, Monday” hits #1, where it remains for three weeks. It is, according to ‘The Billboard Book of Number One Hits’, “the first song recorded by a fully sexually integrated group to go to Number One.”

1966

‘If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears’—a vocal-group classic that includes “California Dreamin’” and “Monday, Monday”—reaches #1. Its 105-week tenure on the album chart surpasses that of any Beatles album save ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.’

1967

A remake of the Shirelles’ “Dedicated to the One I Love” stays at #2 for three weeks behind the Turtles’ “Happy Together.”

1967

The autobiographical “Creque Alley” peaks at #5. It is the Mamas and the Papas’ sixth and final Top Ten hit.

1967

The Mamas and the Papas close the final evening of the Monterey International Pop Festival.

1968

Struggling with intergroup conflicts and romantic tensions, not to mention personal excesses that accompanied sudden fame and wealth, the Mamas and the Papas disband.

1971

The Mamas and the Papas release ‘People Like Us’, an album recorded to fulfill their contractual obligations to Dunhill Records.

1974

Mama Cass Elliot dies of a heart attack in London.

1982

The Mamas and Papas reunion tour begins in New York. Phillips and Doherty have re-formed the group with Mackenzie Phillips and Spanky McFarlane replacing Michelle Phillips and Mama Cass.

1986

John Phillips and Michelle Phillips each publish tell-all books about their life and times in the Mamas and the Papas.

1998

The Mamas and the Papas are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the thirteenth annual induction dinner. Shania Twain is their presenter.

2001

John Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas dies of heart failure in Los Angeles.

2007

Denny Doherty of the Mamas and the Papas died.

The Mamas and the Papas