The Mamas and the Papas: A Look Behind the Curtains

First Things First

Do you want to know how this group of four got together? It started with the husband and wife team of John Phillips (who was in the folk group New Journeymen) and Michelle Phillips, and their friend Denny Doherty (from the Mugwumps). Their former bands were active in 1964 and 1965. The last member to join the quartet was Cass Elliot, who was Doherty’s bandmate from the Mugwumps.

Michelle and John Phillips

Michelle and John Phillips. Photo by Globe Photos / mediapunch / Shutterstock

The drama started before they even formed their new group. John (who left his first wife to marry Michelle) was ready to sing with tenor Doherty. But he objected when Elliot wanted to sing as well. Elliot had to overcome John’s initial concerns. First, he felt that her voice was too low for his arrangements. But that wasn’t the offensive part…