Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Friday, January 29, 2010

Dream a Little Dream...

When I was a teen, I loved the Mama's and the Papa's. I would spend hours in my room crooning out their songs, "Dedicated to the One I Love," "California Dreaming," and "Monday, Monday." You see, I was a beach girl...the only problem was, I was an east coaster and they were talking about the west coast...thus began my fascination with the Pacific Coast. The biggest draw to the west coast was I thought if I could just get close to Mama Cass I would have arrived. I loved the sound of her voice and wanted to sing just like her...especially the sound of Dream a Little Dream. She was the greatest. I was devastated when before I could get to California...Mama Cass died. My world was rocked. So, today....as you listen to my first song on my play box...close your eyes and think of one of the greats....Mama Cass Elliot. I did not know a whole lot about Mama Cass then, but today we have internet...so I went searching for Cass facts...and I want to share with my readers some things I found on the Cass Elliot website. I did not even know there was one until I went surfing around on the web. Did you know that she was not always Cass Elliot....she was actually born Ellen Naomi Cohen on September 19, 1941 in Baltimore, Maryland. I guess Mama Cass has a better ring to it than Mama Ellen. Anyways excuse my digression, "she grew up in Washington D.C. and in her senior year of high school, she performed in a summer stock production of "The Boyfriend" at the Owings Mills Playhouse where she played the French nurse who sings "It's Nicer, Much Nicer in Nice." After this experience Cass into the world of performance. "She made a splash in New York and began an acting career, competing with Barbra Streisand for the Miss Marmelstein part in "I Can Get It for You Wholesale" in 1962. She toured in a production of Meredith Wilson's "The Music Man." Elliot also produced a play at Cafe La Mama in New York." (from Cass Elliot website)
"By early 1963 she had met up with Tim Rose and John Brown and formed a folk trio initially dubbed The Triumvirate, yet later known as The Big 3 when Brown was replaced by James Hendricks. The Big 3 were a progressive and innovative folk trio who recorded two albums and made appearances on The Tonight Show, Hootenanny and the Danny Kaye Show. In 1964 the group had begun to fall apart and it metamorphasized into a foursome called "Cass Elliot and The Big 3" which included Canadians, Denny Doherty and Zal Yanovsky (Tim Rose had left at this point). Soon this foursome became The Mugwumps who operated out of The Shadows nightclub in Washington. They released a single for Warner Brothers and stayed together through the end of 1964, until they too began to disintegrate. Cass Elliot began to work as a solo single in Washington, D.C." Ever listen to the lyrics of the Mama's and Papa's song, Creeque Alley? It is very historical....but I am getting ahead of myself...
"At this point Denny Doherty had joined John and Michelle Phillips and the three were performing as The New Journeymen. Soon they left for the Virgin Islands where Cass subsequently joined them and the four began to sing together in mid-1965. Thus the superstar group The Mamas and The Papas was born. From 1965-1968 the Mamas and Papas recorded a series of top ten hits including "Monday, Monday," "California Dreamin'," "I Saw Her Again," and "Dedicated to the One I Love.""
"The group's last hit was a launching number for Cass Elliot. "Dream A Little Dream Of Me" became Cass' theme song and beginning in 1968 she embarked on her own short-lived but solid solo career. Her distinct voice had always emerged from the groups in which she sang." This woman could sing....and in every single group she sang in or with...her's was the voice that stood out. What a singer. So, it was with great sadness when on July 29, 2974...I woke up to find out that Mama Cass Elliot had died. She was only 33 years old. How sad. The newspapers...reported many different causes for her death...some of them were not pretty...I think the one that bothered me the most was that it was reported she choked to death on a ham sandwich. As a larger person...anytime food is attributed to anything bad in our lives...it comes out negative. Mama Cass was no exception. I was delighted when I discovered that the cause of her death was NOT a ham sandwich(she had not even eaten one that day), or drugs( you have to remember the times), but it was something very serious...that had probably plagued her for a long time....Mama Cass was dead at 33 from myocardial degeneration due to obesity...and the world lost one of the greatest singers of all times. Everytime I hear her voice...I remember a time....when I was younger...and the world was different...and I close my eyes...and dream a little dream...

3 comments:

Queenie Jeannie said...

I loved their music!!! Great post!

Tracy said...

Great post!
I grew up listening to an old Mama's and the Papa's album of my dads. I love their music ...
Even today my 13 yr old daughter loves Mama Cass, California Dreaming is her favorite song.
It is so sad that Cass died at such a young age, just think if she were still here today singing.
Tracy

lagirl said...

I was a fan of MaMa Cass too. Gone too soon.