San Francisco Scott McKenzie



” San Francisco ( Be Sure to Wear Some Flowers in Your Hair ) ” was by Scott McKenzie ( Philip Wallach Blondheim ), the American singer and songwriter.
The song was written by John Phillips. John was a member of American folk rock vocal group, The Mamas & the Papas. He was also a promoter for the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, a three-day music event held at Monterey County Fairgrounds, Monterey in California which is considered to be a landmark event during the 60s the Summer of Love.
It was also the first time The Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Who and Ravi Shankar played live at a major music event in the United States.
Production for the single was by Lou Adler and John Phillips. Lou Adler is an American Grammy Award-winning record producer. He produced Carole King’s Diamond-certified album, Tapestry, which won a Grammy Award in 1972 for Album of the Year. It is considered to be one of the greatest Rock & Roll albums in music history.
” San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Some Flowers in Your Hair ) ” was released on the 13th of May 1967 by record labels Ode in the United States and Columbia in the United Kingdom and Canada. The single featured on Scott’s album, The Voice of Scott McKenzie.
John Phillips partly wrote the song to ease the anxiety of the residents of the sleepy fishing village in Monterey, California after it was announced that the festival would take place there. John said of the song ” I wanted a song that would express the feelings of the people coming to the festival, something that would put them in the right state of mind and tell them to relax. ”
John played the guitar on the track with session musician Gary L. Coleman playing orchestra bells and chimes. The song’s bassline was the work of session musician Joe Osborn while drums were played by Hal Blaine, Hal’s drumming was so steady that many thought it was the sound of a new drum machine.
The hand clapping featured was provided by The Mamas & Papas, who liked the song and had wished writer John would have kept it for the group instead of offering it to Scott.
John wrote the song in the afternoon, produced a rough demo that evening, the next day he hired the musicians for the track and finished it the following night.
Scott was handed the song by John. Scott commented ” My heart was in that song and I didn’t need to change my image. I already had a pretty loose life. I was wearing flower shirts, weird flowing robes and kaftans, and we picked flowers the day I recorded the song. ”
The 1967 Monterey Pop Festival was a huge success, Scott closed the festival with ” San Francisco ( Be Sure to Wear Some Flowers in Your Hair ) ” and cemented his place in 60s hippie culture.
The Bee Gees wrote ” Massachusetts ” to counter the flower power anthems that were coming out at the time. Their song was about a person who’d been to San Francisco but was homesick so returns to Massachusetts. The Bee Gees hadn’t been to Massachusetts at the time of writing.
” San Francisco ( Be Sure to Wear Some Flowers in Your Hair ) ” was a commercial success for Scott. In the United States the song reached number four on the Billboard Hot 100, spending four weeks there and a total of twelve weeks on the chart.
In the United Kingdom, the single entered the UK Singles Chart on the 18th of July 1967 and reached Number One, where it remained for four weeks. It spent eleven weeks in the Top Ten and a total of seventeen weeks on the UK chart.
It was also Number One in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium and Norway. Sales of the single are said to be over 7 Million copies worldwide.

BillBoard Highest Chart Position: 4

UK Highest Chart Position: 1

Other Countries Highest Chart Positions: Switzerland 8, Germany 1, Austria 1, France 93, the Netherlands 1, Belgium 1, Norway 1

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