September 19: Cass Elliot AKA "Mama Cass" was born on this date in 1941....

... she died on July 29, 1974 when she was 33 from a heart attack.

Born Ellen Naomi Cohen in Baltimore, Maryland, she adopted the name "Cass" in high school.  She used the surname Elliot sometime later, in memory of a friend who had died.

While working as a cloakroom attendant at "The Showplace" in Greenwich Village, Elliot would sometimes sing, but it wasn't until she returned to the Washington area, to attend American University, that she began to pursue a singing career.

 As America's folk music scene was on the rise, Elliot met banjoist and singer Tim Rose and singer John Brown, and the three began performing as The Triumvirate. In 1963, James Hendricks replaced Brown and the trio was renamed The Big Three. Elliot's first recording, Winkin', Blinkin' and Nod, with The Big Three, was released by FM Records in 1963.

When Tim Rose left The Big Three in 1964, Elliot and Hendricks teamed up with Canadians Zal Yanovsky and Denny Doherty as The Mugwumps. This group lasted eight months, after which Cass occasionally performed as a solo act.

Yanovsky joined with John Sebastian to co-found The Lovin' Spoonful while Doherty joined The New Journeymen with John Phillips and his wife, Michelle. In 1965, Doherty finally convinced Phillips that Cass should join the group. She did so, officially, while they were vacationing in the Virgin Islands.

Now with two female members, The New Journeymen needed a new name. According to Doherty, Elliot had the inspiration for the band's new name; The Mamas and the Papas.
Cass is remembered for her vocals on the group's hits "California Dreamin'," "Monday Monday," and "Words of Love," and  for the solo "Dream a Little Dream of Me," which the group recorded in 1968.

(Continued below video and Amazon portals ...)

HIGHLY Recommended (Links to ENTIRE Amazon Website):     

Dream A Little Dream: The Cass Elliot CollectionCass Elliot/Road Is No Place for a Lady/Don't CallGold

After the The Mamas & the Papas broke up, she had a successful solo career, releasing five studio albums. Elliot was found dead in her room in London from an apparent heart attack after two weeks of sold-out performances at the Palladium.

In 1998, the four members of the group were inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.