Kinneytaylor (ephemeralheart) wrote in all_uneedislove,

The Passing of a Papa

Denny Doherty of the '60s pop group Mamas and Papas dead at 66; hits included `Monday, Monday'
MISSISSAUGA, Ontario (AP) - Denny Doherty, one-quarter of the1960s folk-rock group the Mamas and the Papas, known for theirsoaring harmony on hits like "California Dreamin"' and "Monday,Monday," died Friday at 66.

His sister Frances Arnold said the singer-songwriter died at hishome in Mississauga, a city just west of Toronto, after a shortillness. He had suffered kidney problems following surgery lastmonth and had been put on dialysis, Arnold said.

The group burst on the national scene in 1966 with the top 10smash "California Dreamin'." The Mamas and the Papas broke newground by having women and men in one group at a time when mostsinging groups were unisex. John Phillips, the group's chiefsongwriter; his wife, Michelle; and another female vocalist, CassElliot, teamed with Doherty.

"Monday, Monday" hit No. 1 on the charts and won the band aGrammy for best contemporary group performance. Among the group'sother songs were "I Saw Her Again Last Night," "Go Where YouWanna Go," "Dancing Bear," and versions of "I Call Your Name"and "Dedicated to the One I Love."

"What made the group special was their haunting and sumptuousharmony singing," according to "The Rolling Stone IllustratedHistory of Rock & Roll."

"Everybody used to think that John Phillips, who wrote thesongs, was also the main voice of the group, but it wasn't - it wasthe angelic voice of Denny Doherty," said Larry Leblanc, Canadianeditor of Billboard Magazine. "He was often overlooked but it wasreally his voice that carried the group."

In 1998, the Mamas and the Papas were inducted into the Rock andRoll Hall of Fame.

The group's catchy sound was a blend of '60s upbeat pop and thefolk music that had surged in popularity early in the decade. Thesong "Creeque Alley" told the story of their formation amid themusical ferment of the folk scene; among the other stars-to-bementioned in its lyrics were members of the Lovin' Spoonful and theByrds.

Folk superstars Peter, Paul and Mary paid their own tribute tothe Mamas and the Papas with their humorous 1967 hit "I Dig Rockand Roll Music."

But the group's heyday was brief and it disbanded in 1968following John and Michelle Phillips' divorce. The membersre-formed in 1971 for the album "People Like Us," but all hopefor a reunion ended in 1974 when the 32-year-old Elliot suffered afatal heart attack in London.

John Phillips briefly re-formed the group in 1982 with Doherty,Phillips' actress daughter, Mackenzie, and Elaine "Spanky"McFarlane. The foursome toured playing oldies and new Phillipsoriginals.

In 2003, Doherty was co-author and performer in an off-Broadwayshow called "Dream a Little Dream: The Mamas and the PapasMusical." It traced the band's early years, its dizzying fame andbreakup amid drugs and alcohol and an affair between Doherty andMichelle Phillips.

"There's a part of this thing that if I'm not careful, I'd bejust a blob on the stage crying my guts out," Doherty told TheAssociated Press at the time. "Everybody knows about death anddying and sadness, so it's an exercise in staying in the moment andnot getting maudlin about your friends dying."

John Phillips died in 2001 at 65.

The Halifax-born Doherty started his music career in Montreal in1960 as the co-founder of the Colonials, which later became theHalifax Three.

Doherty made a solo album in 1974 and achieved a bit ofimmortality by both playing the Harbormaster and voicing all thecharacters for the children's TV series "Theodore Tugboat."

Doherty, who was married twice, is survived by three children,John, Emberly and Jessica; three sisters; and a brother. Both ofhis wives predeceased him.

I'm actually really sad :-(
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