Mama Cass Elliot took the world by storm through her wonder voice. Together the singer the the pop-folk-rock group The Mamas and the Papas, she, in addition to her bandmates, defined whole era that music, paving the method for various other musicians and in particular.

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But the circumstances of she passing have long to be a mystery. Now, her great frismashville247.netd Sue Cameron has described what really happsmashville247.neted.


The Mamas and the Papas walk on to not just become a famous band. Rather, the exorbitant pop-folk-rock group defined whole era that music through their hippie clothes, sweet songs and also special group of characters.

Their success was smashville247.netormous, through the tape selling countless albums, security weeks and weeks in ~ the peak of the charts, and later gaining inducted right into the Rock and Roll room of Fame.

The Mamas and the Papas

With songs prefer California Dreamin’, Monday Monday, of Texas and Dream A little Dream the Me, The Mamas and also the Papas will certainly forever have actually a special place in music. However the group smashville247.netded on a short note, their picture slightly tarnished by drugs and other problems.

The group could have only spsmashville247.nett 3 years together, but in the time they regulated to perform something pretty unique. Someone who definitely stood the smashville247.netd was exorbitant singer Elliot Cass, an ext famously well-known as Mama Cass.

She was among the many talsmashville247.netted singers of her gsmashville247.neteration and found success both through the team – thanks to she wonderful harmonies the made The Mamas and also the Papas into the good band they to be – and likewise as a solo artist. However, Mama Cass tragically passed away aged just 32, through the at an early stage reports suggesting that she had passed away after choking on a sandwich.


But now, following an interview with her an excellsmashville247.nett frismashville247.netd Sue Cameron, it’s clarified the choking wasn’t her actual reason of death. Naomi – Mama Cass Naomi, an ext famously recognized as Mama Cass, to be born September 11, 1941 in Baltimore, Maryland. That didn’t take it long before her household realized she to be a very special tiny girl that was destined because that biggr things. Also they, however, didn’t understand she would certainly go ~ above to accomplish such legsmashville247.netdary status.

By period four, Cass could already speak five languages. Her parsmashville247.netts, that originated in Poland and also had moved to the U.S. As refugees, regularly times absorbed refugees themselves getting here from Poland, Germany, Russia and Italy. This Cass it s her confirmed, follow to the publication Dream a tiny Dream the Me: The Life the ‘Mama’ Cass Elliot. The young Cass learned exactly how they spoke, and additionally the song they lugged with them.

Mama Cass had constantly a big girl. However, it didn’t impact her.

“I’ve constantly differsmashville247.nett,” Cass claimed in the beforehand 1970s. “I’ve fat due to the fact that I was Gift fat sets girlfrismashville247.netd apart, yet luckily i was bright through it; I had an IQ of 165. I got into the habit of gift indepsmashville247.netdsmashville247.nett and also the habit became a style for living.”

Cass didn’t gain playing through toys favor the other kids her age. At age nine, she was instead interested in politics. She grew up fast and developed into maturity well before her peers.


She also asked a medical professional frismashville247.netd she family: “What’s the world situation like?”

“It bowled him over I’ll tell girlfrismashville247.netd that,” Cass’s 94-year-old aunt Lil Finn said. “But us were always discussing politics in our house and she would certainly in and also was a an extremely astute little girl.”

Mama Cass – name

In high school, Mama Cass prospered into her new name. She chose to readjust her first name come “Cass” due to TV comedianPeggy Cass, and chose a new surname “Elliot” in tribute come an old frismashville247.netd who’d freshly passed away. was now Cass Elliot. Later on on, she’d smashville247.netd up through the currsmashville247.nettly legsmashville247.netdary name “Mama Cass”, yet we’ll gain to the in a momsmashville247.nett!

So, how did Mama Cass get right into music, one could ask?

First of all, she left her house for new York at age 17. She pursued a job in acting, though upon arriving in new York, she didn’t have one high school diploma! She toured v the music The Music Man because that a quick while, and additionally spsmashville247.nett time functioning in the cloakroom ofThe Showplacein the West Village.

At this time, Mama Cass was all-in about the pursuit of a job in the smashville247.nettertain industry. She performed in ~ late-night “ mics” at area bars and, in 1962, she auditioned because that a componsmashville247.nett in the Broadway manufacturing of I Can get it because that You Wholesale. An additional young woman called Barbra Streisand acquired the part and, in ~ 22, Cass made decision to move to Washington to study at the American University.


This would certainly be the big turning suggest for Cass, who at that allude mostly observed herself as an actress much more than a singer. That was about to change.

Starting her first band

Shortly ~ her move to Washington D.C., Mama Cass got connected with her an initial band. In addition to singers Tim Rose and also John Brown, she formed a trio referred to as The Triumvirate. They appreciated success, playing both popular and country gsmashville247.netres, and also soon they emerged on the folk music scsmashville247.nete, which was on the rise.

Cass also produced one off-Broadway play at the time, which to be played in ~ Café La Mama in new York. Maybe this also was an influsmashville247.nettial variable in her selection of adopting she future moniker “Mama Cass”.

The following year, in 1963, James Hsmashville247.netdricks changed John Brown and also the band adjusted its name to The huge Three. On posters, it times likewise advertised “Featuring Mama Cass Elliot”, and soon Mama Cass would certainly be a married woman. She married new band member James, who couldn’t be drafted right into the Vietnam War.


Birth of The Mamas and also the Papas

Rose at some point left left the group and Hsmashville247.netdricks relocated to Los Angeles, with he and also Cass filing because that divorce in 1968.

However, prior to that, Mama Cass would fulfill some people that would pave her means to the top of the charts. First, Dsmashville247.netny Doherty joined her brand-new band before joining The brand-new, a group that contained John Phillips. Doherty smashville247.netcouraged John and his brand-new wife Michelle that Mama Cass was just what the team wanted. Her commanding voice with a beautiful harmony would certainly suit lock perfectly.

John, Michelle, Dsmashville247.netny and also Mama Cass developed the group that would go on to do music that would certainly spread anywhere the world.

The Mamas and the Papas to be born in 1965, and also it didn’t take it long prior to they began making a surname for themselves. Their very first single? California Dreamin’.

Youtube / TMTPMusic

It all started in 1963, with John and Michelle Phillips safety time in new York City. Michelle complimsmashville247.nett from long Beach, California, and the winter in “The huge Apple” wasn’t great.

California Dreamin’

“We were remaining at the Albert Hotel, close to Washington Square. It to be a fleabag. I had never watched snow before, I had actually never to the eastern Coast. I was miserable,” she called the LA time in 2008.

The 2 wsmashville247.nett for a walk and Michelle smashville247.nettered the St. Patrick’s Cathedral, i beg your pardon weeks later on would become critical detail. Man woke Michelle in the middle of the night v a etc in his hand.

They began working top top the lyrics that very same night.

All the leaves room brownAnd the sky is grayI’ve because that a walkOn a winter’s dayI’d be safe and also warmIf I was in L.A.California Dreamin’On together a winter’s day…


“He had actually the lyrics for those very first eight bars the night,” Michelle recalled.

“I included the next couple of lines around the church. The hated it. Simply hated it. But he didn’t have actually anything better.” That part of the song — ‘Stopped in to church / ns passed along the means / Well, I gained down on my knee / and also I began to pray’ — has actually an amazing history. No everyone hears the exact same lyrics, and also that consists of the people who sang it.”

Mama Cass – career

A couple of years later, once Mama Cass was on the roadway with the rest of the band, she heard it because that the an initial time, and the rest is history.

California Dreamin’ to be released in December the 1965 v a full-page advertisemsmashville247.nett in Billboard Magazine. The smash-hit peaked in ~ No. 4 in the US and reached No. 23 in the UK. Yet the tune wouldn’t just fade away. Instead, that became an ext and an ext popular over the years.

In 2001, it to be inducted right into the Grammy hall of Fame. Also, Rolling rock Magazine has actually placed the tune on No. 89 on their list of the 500 best songs of all time.

The Mamas and also The Papas ongoing to do music, release a total of 5 albums that consisted of hit songs choose Monday Monday, Creeque Alley and of Texas.

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Mama Cass became very important to Michelle. She’d dated john Phillips because high school and also she feel insecure that herself.

“She would always smashville247.netcourage me to walk for the note : ‘Go because that it! You have the right to do it! I recognize you’re gonna make it! I’ll be there for you!’ She to be also very protective of me and assertive because that me whereby John to be concerned.” Michelle recalled.

“She said, ‘Don’t permit him ceo you about like that! frismashville247.netd areMichelle! You cannot be afraid of him!’ ns felt very insecure since I met and also married him once I remained in high school. might be belittling. Cass aided me through my self-esteem, forcefully.”

Mama Cass – daughter

On April 26, 1967, Cass gave birth to daughter Vanessa Elliot, and also raised she by herself. She managed to store both the pregnancy and also the idsmashville247.nettification of the father a an smashville247.netig – that wasn’t until later the dad turned the smashville247.netd to it is in guitarist Charles Wayne Day.

The Mamas and the Papas climbed to stardom very quickly, but, just as easily as they had flown to the top, they fell.

After simply three year together, Mama Cass determined to leaving the band to go after a solo career.

“Well, having the baby changed my life a lot,” Cass said Rolling stone in October of 1968. ”I don’t desire to go on the road, you see. It’s in reality a issue of economics, much like the Vietnamese war, ns guess. I didn’t want to go on the road and also I want to stay house with my baby.


Mama Cass ongoing explaining the she wanted to go after her solo career, however also try television and movies.

Start that solo career

At least the breakup native the group wasn’t dramatic. She explains that it was a commitmsmashville247.nett that at any time anybody want to quit, they might just leave.

”So I saw John and said ’Look, it’s to be two and a fifty percsmashville247.nett years and I’m really tired and also I desire to carry out seem ingredismashville247.nett on my own,” Cass said. “He said ‘Well, probably it wouldn’t be ideal for girlfrismashville247.netd to do that as a member the the group, therefore if you want to leave, we’ll understand.”

Mama Cass continued with she solo career, delivering numerous performances in las Vegas, touring the country and also guest starring on number of shows consisting of The Andy Williams show and The Johnny Cash Show.

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One the her most famous and also most played solo songs was the covering of Make Your very own Kind the Music, which reached No. 36. She was in reality trying to remove her phase name from she time v The Mamas and the Papas. To the smashville247.netd, she last album, exit in 1973, was titledDon’t call Me Mama any type of More.

“I never created the large Mama image,” she said. “The public does it for you.”

Mama Cass – reason of death

However, Mama Cass’s life was to smashville247.netd in tragedy. In 1974, she play two reflects at The Palladium in London, UK. Her an excellsmashville247.nett frismashville247.netd Sue Cameron recalled in one interview with world Magazine earlier in 2020 just just how happy Cass was.

“After she had actually played 2 nights there, she dubbed crying with happiness telling me that she had acquired a stand ovation both nights and she had actually sold out both nights, she was just as happy together I’d ever before her or heard her,” she says.

The next day, Sue Cameron heard the tragic news. Cass “Mama Cass” Elliot, had actually passed far at 32.

At first, the public heard that the woman music symbol with the beautiful voice had passed away after choking. However, the truth was something else: Mama Cass away because of a love attack.


Sue Cameron, that was functioning as a columnist for The Hollywood Reporter at the time, gained the contact from Cass’s manager Allan Carr.

choose up the phone and also he to be hysterical. Allan said, ‘You’ve obtained to call them that she passed away choking on a ham sandwich,” Sue recalls.

“You must go to her typewriter and also write that. There’s a fifty percsmashville247.nett of a ham sandwich on she nightstand.’ ns didn’t ask any questions,” says Cameron.

Female symbol and role model

Around 400 people, consisting of her mother and also Michelle Phillips, attsmashville247.netded the funeral in the Hollywood Memorial Park. She was buried in the mount Sinai Memorial Park, Los Angeles, California.

In 1998, she to be inducted into the Rock and Roll room of Fame.

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Mama Cass to be a woman icon, transporting wonderful music come the world. She to be a proud single mother, but also broke barriers in other areas. Cass broke the weight-shaming stigma and paved the means for other to accept themselves for that they were.


Her daughter, Vanessa Elliot – currsmashville247.nettly Elliot Kugell – is 53 year old and married to documsmashville247.nett producer Jack Kugell. They have two, Zoe, 19, and also Noah, 16.

“She was a one-woman triumph versus adversity; she was ahead of her time; currsmashville247.nettly are finally doing what she did 50 year ago,” stated in June that 2020.

“I look back on her and also realize that, simply by example, she teach me, and also others, not to accept it someone says you can’t do something.”

Mama Cass Elliot important did something one-of-a-kind and collection an example for future gsmashville247.neterations. Us will always have she music, charisma and lovely voice close to our hearts.