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Published: 2012/08/20

Folk Singer Scott McKenzie Found Dead

Noted folk singer and songwriter Scott McKenzie died yesterday. He was 73.

McKenzie is best known for his hippie anthem “San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair).” Born Scott Blondheim and raised in North Carolina, McKenzie wet his feet on the doowop circuit before switching his interests to folk music in the 1960s. He had a longstanding friendship with fellow folkie and The Mamas and Papas founder John Phillips; the two performed together as The Journeymen and McKenzie later declined an invitation to join The Mamas and Papas.

Inspired by the flower-power movement, Phillips wrote “San Francisco” for McKenzie in 1967, and McKenzie sang what would become his signature song at the Monterey Pop Festival. The song remains a counter culture anthem. The singer/songwriter released a series of albums in the late ‘60s but fell out of the spotlight in the 1970s. He had an unexpected comeback in the ‘80s, however: McKenzie both joined a latter day version of The Mamas and Papas and co-wrote The Beach Boys’ latter day hit “Kokomo.” According to reports, a neighbor found McKenzie dead in his home on Sunday. He had faced heart problems in recent years.

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