Description of The Mamas & the Papas Music:
The Mamas & the Papas Lineup:
The band was originally called the Magic Cyrcle, but that proved unmemorable and unfavorable to the band's members. They reportedly took the name The Mamas & the Papas from the Hells Angels, who said they called their women "Mamas."
Recommended Mamas & the Papas CDs:
Deliver (Dunhill, 1967) compare prices
Greatest Hits (MCA, 1998) compare prices
Purchase/Download Mamas & the Papas MP3s:
The Mamas & the Papas Bio:
Quite the opposite, though.
They changed their name and released their first single, "Go Where You Wanna Go," in 1965, followed by the more commercially successful "California Dreamin'." The latter climbed all the way up to Number 4 on the pop charts, making the Mamas & the Papas a certified success. Their debut album If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears dropped early the following year and went to Number 1.
Despite the five-album deal they'd signed with Dunhill Records initially, the band would only release four albums before breaking up and going their separate ways. Their final performance was on the Ed Sullivan show in 1967, shortly before they went into the studio to work on album number four - The Papas & the Mamas. The band split, though, after John Phillips made a derogatory remark about Cass Elliot in front of a room full of people (which included members of the Rolling Stones) while they were in Europe at a Dunhill Records party.
Elliot's "Dream a Little Dream of Me" (purchase/download) from The Papas & the Mamas proved the disc's highest charting single, establishing a precedent for her to pursue a solo career following the foursome's split. Though they reunited in 1971 to cut the fifth album in their Dunhill contract, the album met little success, and they split once and for all. Each of the members pursued their own interests after 1971.
Elliot died of a heart attack in 1974, but managed to enjoy three years of a successful solo career. John Phillips's solo career was less successful, though he's had success as a songwriter for other artists. He died of heart failure in 2001. Phillips and Doherty had formed the New Mamas & the Papas with Phillips's daughter MacKenzie, but Doherty left that group and became the producer of a children's TV show. He died in 2007 from kidney failure. His ex-wife Michelle (they divorced in the early '70s) released an album in '77, before taking to Hollywood and becoming an actress. She's the only living member of the Mamas & the Papas.