Once upon a time on a TV show, doing an interview with the Hells Angels, Cass Elliot was told, "We call our women mamas". Cass replied, " Well, we got Mamas in our group and we got Papas!" John Philips liked the idea and said yeah we could be called the Papas and The Mamas. After Cass and Michelle made it known that The Mamas and Papas was better, the name stuck.
Of course, before this time, John Philips, Michelle Philips, Denny Doherty and Cass Elliot had already been performing together. Their first single,"California Dreamin'" was recorded in 1965 was a hit and the rest of their music is history.
Cowsill connections? Of course there is. The Cowsills sang "Monday, Monday" on their In Concert LP. But the connections doesn't stop there.
In one re-incarnation of the M & P's - John Philips, Denny Doherty, Mackenzie Phillips and Spanky McFarlane - John played drums. The above photos are from a show they did on New Year's Eve in Palm Springs in 1988. John did at least some touring with them. The audio clip below is from a CD called The Great Mamas & Papas- Live recorded in 1982.
One other Cowsill connection is that John sings "California Dreamin'" with the Beach Boys.
John Philips - guitar and vocals
Michelle Philips - vocals
Denny Doherty - guitar and vocals
Cass Elliot - vocals
Mackenzie Philips - vocals
Spanky McFarlane - vocals
Johnny Chito (or Kato??) - organ
Duke ?? - bass
Shane Fontaine - guitar
?? Fontaine - piano
Johnny Cowsill - drums
|Recording ||Date / Company ||Comments|
The Great Mamas and Papas Live
|1982 / Goldies ||John - drums|
Rockin' The Night Away
|June 8, 2004 / K-Tel ||John - drums|
Here are chords for a couple songs that have Cowsill connections.