So who’s in charge of those instant, unscientific polls AOL does? After Denny Doherty of the Mamas & the Papas died a couple days ago at the age of 66, AOL asked for the group’s favorite song among these choices:
* California Dreamin‘ – their first big hit, going to #4, and showing up in so many ’60s compilation albums that I’d grown tired of it, but an obvious choice
* Monday, Monday – #1 for three weeks, features Denny’s lead vocal
* Creeque Alley – this is the song that features “Zal, Denny and Sebastian sat, and after every number they passed the hat”, referring to Doherty and a couple of future members of the Lovin‘ Spoonful. “And no one’s getting fat except Mama Cass.” Top 5 song. I wonder whether voters associated the title with the song?
* Go Where You Wanna Go. Huh?
I mean I know the song. I have five or six M&P LPs. But this was never a hit for them, although it WAS a hit, the first hit, actually, for the 5th Dimension. There were better choice for the Mamas & Papas poll: Words of Love (#5), a cover of the Shirelles‘ Dedicated to the One I Love (#2 for three weeks), or the one I would have chosen, I Saw Her Again, another Top Five song.
Not surprisingly, Dreamin‘ was winnin‘, last I checked, followed by Monday, with Go and Creeque trailing badly.
It’s not, however, that I have anything against Go Where You Wanna Go. In fact, when my father, sister Leslie and I used to sing in public in the late 1960s/early 1970s, the song was part of our repetoire. When Leslie showed up at my 50th birthday party, we sang it again that night.
Coincidentally, for Christmas, Leslie gave me a 2001 album by John Phillips called Phillips 66, so named because John would have been 66 had he lived to see the album released. It features a recast version of California Dreamin‘. My favorite song on the disc, though is Me and My Uncle, quite possibly because of the story behind it. When Judy Collins recorded the song, John started getting royalties. John thought a mistake had been made, since he didn’t write the song. Turns out that, in a tequila-fueled frenzy, he DID write the song, Collins tape-recorded it and got it published. John didn’t remember it at all.
Anyway, with Cass Elliot dead over three decades, that leaves Michelle Phillips, probably better known to some from Knots Landing and Beverly Hills, 90210 – but not by me – as the remaining member of group whose sound I enjoyed immensely.
Get to watch football today, I hope. My rooting interests from here out are, in order, the Saints, the Colts, the Bears. This means I root for New Orleans in the Super Bowl, if they beat Chicago. I know it’s become cliche, but the Saints ARE America’s Team – take THAT, Cowboys! Conversely, if the Patriots are in the Super Bowl, I’m pulling for whichever NFC team wins.
Cap Rep is showing Take Me Out, the baseball play about a mixed race player who comes out of the closet. The writer of the story in the local paper makes sure you know that some of the players will be au natural. And they say nothing ever happens in Albany.