Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Art-For-Art’s-Sake Theatre:
Scott McKenzie (1939-2012)

Time once again for our usual (ostensibly) midday Wednesday feature.

“San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair) is a song, written by John Phillips of The Mamas & the Papas, and sung by Scott McKenzie. It was written and released in June 1967 to promote the Monterey Pop Festival.

The song reached number four on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States, and was number one in the United Kingdom and most of Europe. The single is purported to have sold over 5 million copies worldwide. The song is credited with bringing thousands of young people to San Francisco, California during the late 1960s.

In Central Europe, young people adopted "San Francisco" as an anthem for freedom, and it was widely played during Czechoslovakia's 1968 Prague Spring uprising against Soviet rule.

The song has been featured in several films, including Frantic, The Rock and Forrest Gump.

McKenzie died this past Saturday from complications related to Guillain–Barré syndrome, which he was found to have in 2010. He was 73 years old.

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