Dennis Gerrard Stephen Doherty was born on November 29, 1940 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, Ellen “Cass” Naomi Cohen was born on September 19, 1941 in Baltimore, Maryland, John Edmund Andrew Phillips was born on August 30, 1935 at Paris Island, South Carolina and Holly Michelle Gilliam was born in Long Beach, California on June 4, 1944.
With John and Michelle writing most of their songs, in the short period between 1965 and 1968, Denny, John, Cass and Michelle known as the Mamas & the Papas, had five hit albums and 15 hit singles, six of them on the top ten nationally. Starting with “California Dreamin’,” “Monday, Monday” that peaked at #1, followed by “I Saw Her Again,” “Words of Love,” “Creequee Alley” and “Dedicated To The One I Love”. In just three years of time they are credited with having sold 40 million records worldwide.
In the summer of 1968 they would each go their own way, with Michelle becoming an accomplished actress and Cass starting a very successful solo career. While on tour in England she suffered a fatal heart attack and died at just 33 years of age. John Phillips also died of heart failure on March 18, 2001. Denny Dougherty passed in January 2007.
Inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1998, the Mamas & the Papas were also inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2000 and the Hit Parade Hall of Fame in 2009.