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Brown - Dark
Parris Island, South Carolina, USA
Place of Death
Los Angeles, California
Cause of Death
Claim to Fame
Leader of The Mamas & the Papas
Soundtrack, Composer, Music Department
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Profile Bio Text
John Edmund Andrew Phillips (May 1, 1935 – March 18, 2001), was an American singer, guitarist, and songwriter. Known as Papa John, Phillips was a member and leader of the singing group The Mamas & the Papas. He is the father of Jeffrey Phillips, Mackenzie Phillips, Chynna Phillips, Tamerlane Phillips, and Bijou Phillips.
Phillips was born in Parris Island, South Carolina. His father was a retired United States Marine Corps officer who won an Oklahoma bar from a fellow Marine in a poker game on the way home from Europe after World War I. His mother was Cherokee Indian and met and married Phillips` father in Oklahoma. According to Phillips` autobiography, Papa John, his father was a heavy drinker who suffered from ill health.
Growing up in Alexandria, Virginia, Phillips was inspired by Marlon Brando and other film stars to be "street tough." He formed a small gang of teenage boys, who also sang doo-wop songs. A poor student but likable kid, he was the star of the basketball team at George Washington High School (Class of 1953). He attended the U.S. Naval Academy, but left during his first (plebe) year. He also attended Hampden-Sydney College on a partial athletic scholarship, but dropped out and shortly thereafter married his first of four wives.
Susan Adams was the daughter of a wealthy Virginia family. Together they had a son named Jeffrey and a girl they named (Laura) Mackenzie Phillips.
Phillips longed to have success in the music industry and traveled to New York to find a record contract in the early 1960s. His first band, The Journeymen, was a folk trio. He developed his craft in Greenwich Village, during the American folk music revival, and met his future The Mamas & the Papas bandmates Denny Doherty and Cass Elliot there. Lyrics of their song "Creeque Alley" describe this period.
While touring California with The Journeymen, he met his future second wife, the teenage Michelle Gilliam. Their affair finally forced the dissolution of his first marriage. Phillips was married to Michelle Phillips from 1962 to 1970. They had one child together, Chynna Phillips, the founder of the singing group Wilson Phillips.
Phillips was the primary songwriter and musical arranger of The Mamas & the Papas. Early in the band`s history, John and Michelle were responsible for writing most of the band`s songs. John would often come up with a melody and some lyrics and Michelle would help him complete the lyrical portion of the song. After being signed to Dunhill Records, they had several Billboard Top Ten hits during the group`s short lifetime, including "California Dreamin`", "Monday, Monday", "I Saw Her Again", "Creeque Alley", and "12:30 (Young Girls Are Coming to the Canyon)". John Phillips also wrote "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)", the 1967 Scott McKenzie hit that was to become the Summer of Love "anthem". Phillips also wrote the oft-covered "Me and My Uncle", which was the song performed more times than any other over 30 years of Grateful Dead concerts.
The group`s popularity rivaled that of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones in the late sixties. Although the band lasted only several short years with five studio albums, the music is recognized today as some of the greatest pop of the 20th century.
The Phillipses became Hollywood celebrities, living in the Hollywood Hills and socializing with stars like Jack Nicholson, Warren Beatty, and Roman Polanski. The group broke up largely because Cass Elliot wanted to go solo and because of some personal problems between Phillips, Michelle, and Denny Doherty. Michelle had been fired briefly in 1966, for having had affairs with both Denny and Gene Clark, and was replaced for two months by Jill Gibson, their producer Lou Adler`s girlfriend. Although Michelle was forgiven and asked to return to the group, the personal problems would continue until the band split up in 1968. Cass Elliot went on to have a successful solo career until her death from heart failure (not from choking on the half-eaten remains of a sandwich or from a drug overdose, as is often rumored) in 1974.
Phillips released his first solo album John, the Wolf King of L.A. in 1970. The album was not commercially successful, although it did include the minor hit "Mississippi", and Phillips began to withdraw from the limelight as his use of narcotics increased.
Actress Geneviève Waïte became wife number three in 1972. Tamerlane and Bijou Phillips entered the world during this union, which was marked by years of mutual drug abuse, infidelity and failed artistic expression. John produced a Genevieve Waite album, Romance Is On the Rise, that was quickly forgotten. Her acting career fizzled. Phillips persevered by writing music for films and Broadway, creating a musical. It was savagely criticized and closed on Broadway during previews.
Phillips moved to London. He began to wri
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Full Name at Birth
John Edmund Andrew Phillips
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John Edmund Andrew Phillips (August 30, 1935 – March 18, 2001) was an American singer, guitarist, songwriter and promoter, most notably of the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival. Known as Papa John, Phillips was a member and leader of the singing group The Mamas & the Papas.
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Music Profile Complete
Posted by brian 8 months ago
what a hot band. love all their music
Posted by Joe 8 months ago
Would love to meet you before I die,
Posted by greg fischer 8 months ago
We are unable to find our family pictures. We would like to order our pictu...
Posted by Michael Wren 8 months ago
You can find the statue proposal on Kickstarter dot com