Song of the Day: The Mamas & The Papas, “California Dreamin'”

John Phillips, one of the members of The Mamas & The Papas, was born on this day in 1935. He and wife Michelle wrote “California Dreamin’,” done originally by Barry McGuire. The Mamas & The Papas did the best-known version of it, releasing it in 1966, when it went to #4 on both the Hot 100 and the Cash Box Top 100. It was certified Gold that year. Rolling Stone magazine ranks it #89 on their list of the 500 greatest songs of all time. In the video, John is playing the guitar and Michelle is the blonde singer.

18 thoughts on “Song of the Day: The Mamas & The Papas, “California Dreamin'”

    1. They looked like they were having the time of their lives performing. The Fifth Dimension was like that, too. “California Dreamin'” was just a great song. The harmony was incredible.


  1. This song has always been a favorite of mine John. In 1963, the newlyweds John and Michelle Phillips were residing in New York City when they wrote ‘California Dreamin’’, which became the first single for The Mamas and the Papas. John grew up in Virginia, so he was more or less used to the colder seasons which the Big Apple had plenty of, but Michelle obviously didn’t enjoy the colder weather, and she was homesick for California. John conceptualized this song, reportedly being inspired by a dream, but it was relayed primarily from his wife’s perspective.


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