Artist picture of Scott McKenzie

Scott McKenzie

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San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair) Scott McKenzie 02:58
San Francisco Scott McKenzie 02:56
San Francisco Scott McKenzie 03:29
San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Some Flowers In Your Hair) Scott McKenzie 02:58
What's the Difference (Chapter II) Scott McKenzie 02:40

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San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)
It's Not Time Now
What's the Difference (Chapter II)

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Scott McKenzie was born Philip Wallach Blondheim III in 1939 in Jacksonville, Florida. He was moved to Asheville, North Carolina, at six months and grew up there and in Virginia. It was in Virginia that he began one of the most important relationships of his life - his friendship with John Phillips. During high school the pair played with Tim Rose in a group called The Singing Strings then later with Mike Boran and Bill Cleary in a doo-wop band called The Abstracts.

The Abstracts evolved into The Smoothies and, following a move to New York, recorded a couple of singles with producer Milt Gabler. It was during this period that Blondheim took the stage name Scott McKenzie. The story goes that he was given the name 'Scott' by comedian Jackie Curtis because he looked like a Scottish Terrier dog, and Phillips added 'McKenzie' after his daughter.

During the height of the folk music craze, McKenzie, Phillips and Dick Weissman formed the band The Journeymen, recording three albums and seven singles but never quite achieving enough success to give them a solid living. They parted ways and Phillips formed The New Journeymen, who went on to become The Mamas & the Papas, but McKenzie remained in New York with the goal of starting a solo career.

He didn't cut ties with Phillips, however, and in 1967 he became involved in helping Phillips and Lou Adler put together the first Monterey International Pop Music Festival. At the suggestion of Adler, Phillips wrote a song commemorating the festival and the result was 'San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)', the single that defined McKenzie's career. It reached number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100, number one in the UK and elsewhere in Europe and number two in the Canadian RPM Magazine charts, ultimately selling seven million copies worldwide.

McKenzie followed up with the single 'Like an Old Time Movie' and the albums 'The Voice of Scott McKenzie' (1967) and 'Stained Glass Morning' (1970) but never eclipsed the success of 'San Francisco'.

McKenzie stopped recording in the early '70s but went on to have a second act from 1986 to 1998 when he joined a new version of The Mamas & the Papas. In 1988 he also co-wrote 'Kokomo', a number one single for The Beach Boys, along with Terry Melcher, Mike Love and John Phillips.

In 1998 he retired from touring with The Mamas & the Papas and lived in LA until his death on 18th August 2012, aged 73.