Wednesday, April 26, 2017


Coming in at number 66 on our 1967 song countdown is the one major hit for folk-rocker Scott McKenzie, an artist who probably would have had a much bigger career were it not for one ill-timed decision.

A childhood and lifelong friend of John Philips, he and Philips spent most of the early years of their musical career figuratively teethered at the hip...starting two significant east coast market bands in the doo-wap oriented Smoochies, and later the folk-rock act The Journeymen, who recorded three albums and several singles in the early sixties.

But with the rapid stylistic changes that came with the British Invasion, The Journeymen disbanded, and McKenzie choose at that moment to finally pursue a solo career rather than head out west and accept Philips' invitation to join him on the lineup of a fledgling west coast act  - The Mamas And The Papas.

Needless to say, at least career wise, things panned out better for Philips than they did for McKenzie,
but despite his sudden success, Philips never forgot his friend, and in 1967 wrote and co-produced McKenzie's one monster hit - San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair) - the Summer Of Love's definitive anthem.

Peaking at #4 on the US charts, and #1 overseas, San Francisco would ultimately land the #48 spot on Billboard's year end Hot 100 and sell over seven million copies, and is attributed as a genuine motivating factor in the rush of teens and young adults who descended upon San Francisco in the summer of 1967.

McKenzie would go on to have the occaissional minor follow-up success as either a perform or songwriter for others, and spent a good chunk of time in the eighties and nineties touring with a reformed version of The Mamas And The Papas, but never came close to achieveing the rampant success of San Francisco again.

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