This 1967 single was released on ODE records by Scott McKenszie. This single earned airplay on radio stations everywhere and the song climbed to number 4 on Billboards Hot 100 in the US while it hit number 2 in Canada.
Philip Wallach Blondheim III (Scott McKenzie) was born in Jacksonville, Florida on January 10, 1939. His family moved to Asheville, North Carolina when he was six months old. His childhood centered around North Carolina and Virginia. During those early years he became friends with the son of one of his mother's friends, John Phillips. In the mid-1950's, he sang briefly with Tim Rose in a high school group called the Singing Strings. a high school group called The Singing Strings. Later he sang with Phillips, Mike Boran, and Bill Cleary when they formed a do wop band, The Abstracts.
In New York, The Abstracts became The Smoothies and recorded two singles with Decca Records, produced by Milt Gabler. It was during his time with the Smoothies that Blondheim decided to change his name for business reasons.
The recount of what happened is pretty much as follows. The band was working at The Elmwood Casino in Windsor, Ontario. They were paret of a variety show which included three acts, dancing girls and the entire cast took part in an elaborate choreographed stage productions, and after show parties were common.
At one of those parties he complained that nobody could understand his real name and for sure could not remember it. So everyone kept trying to come up with a new name, it was Jackie Curtis the comedian thought Blondheim looked a lot like a Scottie dog. John Phillips came up with Laura's middle name after Jackie's suggestion. Blondheim did not think much of being called Scottie but Scott would work. That was where he became Scott Mckenzie.
In 1961 Phillips and McKenzie met Dick Weissman and formed the folk group, The Journeymen, at the height of the folk music craze. They recorded three albums and seven singles for Capitol Records. After the Beatles became a huge hit in 1964 The Journeyman disbanded. McKenzie and Weissman became solo performers, while Phillips formed the group The Mamas & Papas with Denny Dherty, Cass Elliot, Michelle Phillips and moved to California.
McKenzie originally declined an opportunity to join the group, saying in a 1977 interview, "I was trying to see if I could do something by myself. And I didn't think I could take that much pressure." Two years later, he left New York and signed with Lou Adler's Ode Records.
In the Spring of 1967 San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair) became a hit all over the world. The record was produced by Lou Adler and Papa John Phillips, written by Phillips, and sung by Scott McKenzie.
After having great success with this song, he just dropped out in the late 1960's In 1970 he moved to Joshua Tree, a California desert town near Palm Springs. In 1973 he went to Virginia Beach, VA, where he lived for 10 years.
In 1986, original Papa's Denny Doherty and John Phillips, with Mackenzie Phillips (John Phillips' daughter) and Spanky McFarlane (ex Spanky and Our Gang) as female vocalists took a new version of the group onto the nostalgia circuit. Later, when Denny left the group, Scott joined John Phillips as the second Papa. However, when John left due to ill health, Denny returned and Scott took the role vacated by John Phillips.
In 1988 Scott co-wrote the Beach Boys hit Kokomo with former Papa, John Phillips, Beach Boy Mike Love and the late Terry Melcher, long time producer of the Beach Boys.
Scott spent much of the 1990's touring with the Mamas and Papas. Eventually, with no original members left, the group disbanded
This is a radio station copy of San Francisco, it sounds very good but shows some signs of being played for broadcast.