August 30: "Papa John," John Phillips of the Mamas & Papas was born on this day in 1935...

... he died on March 18, 2001 at the age of 66.

The singer, guitarist, songwriter - was named March John Edmund Andrew Phillips - when he was born in Parris Island, South Carolina. His first band, The Journeymen, was a folk trio, with Scott Mckenzie and Dick Weismann. The Journeymen recorded three albums and made several appearance on the 1960s TV show, Hootenanny.

In Greenwich Village, Phillips met Denny Doherty and Cass Elliot. While touring with The Journeymen, he met teenager Michelle Gilliam, who became his second wife. (They were married from 1962 to 1970.)
John wrote most of The Mamas & the Papas songs, with Michelle helping with the lyrics. The short-lived group had several Billboard Top Ten hits including "California Dreamin'," "Monday, Monday," "I Saw Her Again," "Dancing In The Street," "Words Of Love"  and "Creeque Alley." Phillips also wrote the 1967 Scott McKenzie hit, " and "Me and My Uncle," the song performed for over 30 years during Grateful Dead concerts.

The group broke up in 1968 because of personal problems - inside and outside the group - and Cass Elliott's desire for a solo career. Phillips died just days after completing a new album, "Phillips 66." It was released posthumously in August 2001.

(Continued below video and Amazon portals ...)

(Press album, book or MP3 covers for direct link to the entire Amazon Website):
16 of their Greatest HitsGreatest Hits: The Mamas & The Papas
Phillips 66


A notorious carouser and drug addict, Phillips had a liver transplant in 1992. In September 2009, John's daughter Mackenzie Phillips claimed in a memoir, High on Arrival, published in 2009- eight years after John's death- that she and her father had a ten-year incestuous relationship.

She claimed it began when she was 18 years old in 1979 - on the eve of her first marriage - after Philips raped her while they were both under the influence of heroin and cocaine.

Not only was the account controversial, but some people who knew John doubt its authenticity.