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Tributes are paid to singer songwriter Scott McKenzie

Tributes are paid to singer songwriter Scott McKenzie

TRIBUTES have been paid to the singer songwriter Scott McKenzie who has passed away aged 73.

Mr. McKenzie will be best remembered for his hit San Francisco (see below) in the1960s.

The hit was written and produced by John Phillips of Mamas and Papas fame, who was a close friend of the singer.

The pair formed a band called the The Abstracts while in their teens and they were also involved in writing Kokomo which was a hit for The Beach Boys.

They then went on to form The Journeymen with Dick Weissman, with the group recording three albums before breaking up in the mid-1960s.

Mr. McKenzie decided to concentrate on a solo career and turned down an invitation from Phillips to join him when he formed The Mamas and Papas. 

The song San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair) was to be his biggest hit — reaching number four in the U.S. and number one in the U.K. He always dedicated performances of it to Vietnam veterans and went on to sing it at the 20th. anniversary of the dedication of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington in 2002.

But after releasing the song, Mr. McKenzie had found the fame it brought difficult to handle and by the end of the 1960s he had dropped out of the music scene.

He was to return to the stage in the late 1980s when joined Phillips on tours with The Mamas and the Papas.

Mr. McKenzie had suffered ill health in recent times and passed away at his home in Los Angeles.

To view a recording of Scott McKenzie singing San Francisco, click here.


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