[quote]Such a beautiful, pure voice.\
And the face was the exact opposite.
If only she had given Karen Carpenter that last ham sandwich...
She died at 33. What other losers out there today can compare with her accomplishments?
She was really underrated as a singer.
r5, what really were her incomparable accomplishments? She was in a hit band, but there have been lots of people under the age of 33 in hit bands; and remember, she didn''t do that well on her own... she had one small hit ("Make Your Own Kind of Music") and played Witchiepoo''s best friend in the kid''s movie HR PUFNSTUF.\
If you want to compare her to 33 year-olds who don''t have her TALENTS as a singer and performer, that''s one thing... I''ll give you that right away.
waiting for r5 inevitably to ask me how many hit songs I''ve had
She was addicted to heroin for a while (so wrote John Phillips)and did numerous other drugs...she lived dangerously. With her weight problems, it was not a wise choice.
No skinny girl rocked the go-go boots like Mama did.
[quote]and this just can''t be beat%0D\
And I''ll never know because I don''t follow links to un-named videos.
She died of a heart attack that was partially attributed to her use of diet pills.
r11: I dig rock and roll music - Cass and Sammy Davis Jnr, Youtube.
I wonder how many DL posters are wearing the exact same gold caftan Cass is rockin in r10
WELLLL, smell R11!
Michelle Phillips was so moving speaking about Cass when the group was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. (Searched for the speech, but couldn''t find a video).\
The three survivors (John, Denny and Mich) performed together for the first time in many years, and the last time, that night. Cass''s absence is so felt. But as Mama Michelle said, she was watching from above, probably in a slinky dress. \
Wish you were here, Miss Elliot:
Michelle was a lot nicer to Cass after she was dead. When she was alive she felt compelled to sleep with Denny, even though she had her pick of any man she wanted.%0D\
Then again they all fought and were miserable while the group was together.
If Cass would''ve amounted to anything we would''ve seen the rise of Spanky McFarlane. I love Cass too, but realistically, I think her pop career was behind her.
R10, I saw that the other day and I love that Sammy has a cigarette in his hand during that entire number. Love it!
Broadway...she was headed to Broadway, what she''d always wanted.
Ever notice how cheesey and NON-rockin'' a pop tune "I Dig Rock-n-Roll Music" is?%0D\
Funny how all those hippie Summer of Love types ended up hating each other the minute they got a taste of fame and money.
Like the other poster said, she died of a heart attack. The sandwich story started because the left-overs of her dinner or whatever were in the room. But she didn''t choke on anything, it was just a regular heart-attack.
[quote]An unmistakably American voice.\
What does this mean?
Cass was big . . . er, popular at a time when pop music was dominated by The British Invasion, R23. Also, a distinctly "American" form of singing is crooning plainly but with power into a microphone (a la Bing Crosby) which is what she excelled at doing.
To date, this is the only halfway decent biography written about her. The sections following the breakup of the group are harrowing--she was hanging out with some true creeps and sycophants (including David Crosby). I don''t think Cass''s entire story has been told, though.
There was nothing artificial about Cass''s singing. It''s like singing was as easy for her as talking. I don''t know anything about singing, but her singing voice sounds just like her talking voice, so her American accent comes through loud and clear.%0D\
That''s what I meant about an "unmistakably American voice"
Cass was a victim of the 60s, like many others at the time. She overdosed and was obese.
Check out her book "Dream A Little Dream of Me" - good and would make a great film.
had Cass and Karen shared a sandwich they both might be alive today
One of the great pop voices of all time. Quite frankly, without Cass (as later was proved when Spanky joined the "new" M&Ps) there WAS no The Mamas and the Papas.
I think Cass''s great talent was as an actress. She was a regular on all the variety shows of the era and was totally delightful. Chuck Barris produced her TV pilot and claimed he was in love with her. In his bio (not that CIA hitman bullshit) he talks about how Cass gave him some pot laced cookies thinking it would loosen him up.
She''s from rock''s golden age when people had real talent and it all wasn''t based on looks. Thanks MTV!
Fabian thinks you''re full of shit.
That Johnny Carson clip is unintentionally funny. Gentle Ben? "What would have done if Secretariat had been on your show?" Wasn''t Allan "Can''t Stop The Mucous" Carr managing her career between cocaine snorts? Not that you could do much with her; she could carry a tune but that''s about it.
[quote]she could carry a tune but that''s about it.%0D\
Most of today''s "singers" can''t carry a tune in a bucket: Britney, Justin, Jonas, Christina, Jessica...
It''s tragic when you see all the comedy she performed at the expense of her appearance. It hurts to watch some of those Carol Burnette skits.
I Dig Rock ''n Roll Music is by Peter, Paul and Mary. It''s a novelty song laced with a little cynical bitterness in the lyrics.
I dig (I dig) the Mamas and the Papas\
At The Trip, Sunset Strip in L.A.\
They got (theyyyy got) a good thing going, when the words don''t get in the way, (wayyyy) (yeaaahhh)\
And when they''re really wailing\
Michelle and Cass are sailing''\
Hey, they really nail (nail) me to the wall (wallllllll) (yeah)
Love Cass, and love how PP&M did this. It was tribute and satire at once
The album "Dave Mason and Cass Elliot"(1970) is just a wonderful collection of songs and performances. An unexpectiong pairing of voices, at least to me, but I love it...
She was the drugged-out, unloved and frustrated Kate Smith of her generation, and we loved her. And it wasn''t, of course, enough.
Her husband Baron Donald von Wiedenman is/was a homosexual.
Well, you''d hardly expect a straight man to marry her.
Carol Burnett attended her funeral.
She had a kid or kids. Anyone know what became of them?
paging my agent now: we need a meeting with a Lifetime exec. NOW!
I Dig R&R Music also has a wonderful (and pretty state-of-the-art for its day) arrangement.%0D\
That''s why it was a hit, and you wouldn''t be able to tell from the cheesy Hollywood Palace arrangement at R10.
love Sammy though
Her only kid, a daughter, is also a singer. The daughter was 7 when Cass died and was raised by Cass'' sister.
Supposedly, the crematorium at the old Hollywood Park (now Hollywood Forever) Cemetery began crumbling during Cass'' incineration - not due to her weight, but because of it''s age.
Her voice was nice, but not exceptional. Still, I liked her voice much better than the overrated Karen Carpenter''s. %0D\
The biggest tragedy in her life was her weight problem. She was ALWAYS obese. Too bad gastric bypass surgery wasn''t available then. I think it would have been the only way she might have been able to lose weight.
[quote]The sandwich story started because the left-overs of her dinner or whatever were in the room.%0D\
There were left-overs?%0D\
What r53 said was right. Too bad they didn''t have gastric bypass surgery back then.
I don''t think she was as miserable as people like to make out. She had a daughter, and despite her weight, was well loved in Hollywood. By many accounts, she was a happy person who liked to have fun. %0D\
The one biggest hurt of her life was not so much losing Denny Doherty but losing him to someone who knew how much Cass loved and adored him. I still remember when Michelle said that Cass confronted her and asked point blank that of all the men she could have had, why did she choose to go after the only one that she (Cass) truly loved. %0D\
I wonder how Phillips feels about all of that, even after all these years?
[quote]Carol Burnett attended her funeral.%0D\
She did an episode of THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW. I watched it as a child and thought that fat, funny woman was just fabulous. She must have died a short time afterward but I don''t remember hearing about it. I was a drama queen at age eight and would have been devastated.
She had genuine talent and a genuine voice so, even if not "tragic," it is a sad loss because who knows where things might have led. If you had told people in the 70''s that Cher would win an Oscar, they would have crumpled up in laughter. So anything could have been possible.
Anyone remember her being on the Scooby Doo Movie mysteries, the follow-up show to Scooby Doo Where are You? That show had an eclectic list of guest stars, Mama Cass, the Harlem Globtrotters, Bat Man & Robin, Phylis Diller, and various other cartoon characters of the time.
Yeah, R58--I remember that. Actually, Mama Cass turned up on a few other Hanna Barbera productions if I recall correctly. %0D\
And R56--I know what you mean. I don''t remember hearing about Cass dying (I would have been 4) but I do remember hearing vaguely that Flo Ballard had died and having nightmares about it afterward.
Yeah, I know, MARY!
"I dig rock and roll music"\
That''s like a Mormon tribute to whiskeys of the world.
She was funny in her scenes as Witch Hazel with Witchipoo...God, I miss being a kid!!
"The one biggest hurt of her life was not so much losing Denny Doherty but losing him to someone who knew how much Cass loved and adored him."\
Hmmm, yes, that''s the story. But Alix Dobkin said Cass was a lesbian.
Who knows? Cass told a lot of stories--she told Michelle she''d been raped at knifepoint, then later told her that SHE''D actually done the raping!
That was when female pop singers sounded like women, not little squeaky-voiced girls.
[quote]And I'll never know because I don't follow links to un-named videos.
I agree with r11.
"New World Coming" is a great Cass Elliot song.
Oh r30, stop! My sides hurt from laughing at the lame joke you stole and repeated. FAIL.
I love this amazing medley of Simon & Garfunkel songs Cass did with Julie Andrews. They harmonize so effortlessly and beautifully. It makes you realize how devoid of singing talent we are at the moment.
On the subject of Cass - what a voice. As a previous poster stated, she made singing seem (and sound) as effortless as talking or breathing. She always looked so happy when belting a song out, too. You can tell she took great joy from sharing her voice.
Wasn't Leah Kunkel Cass's sister? Whatever happened to her?
After her death, Elliot's younger sister, Leah Kunkel, received custody of Cass' daughter Owen, then just seven years old. Kunkel is also a singer and charted in 1984 as a member of the Coyote Sisters on the single "Straight From The Heart (Into Your Life)". Kunkel was interviewed by VH1 in 1997 and discussed her sister for the "Mamas & Papas" episode of the network's documentary series Behind The Music.
Wow, thanks r68. That is gorgeous and surprisingly touching.
Great voice. I bought her album when it came out (I think she had only one?) and played it over and over. Also loved her with the Ms and Ps. Have all their albums too. Great music! And that's what's important!
Rebranding herself as "Adele" was the smartest thing she ever did.
Owen Elliot-Kugell was actually a member of Wilson Phillips early on, but was dropped right before they singed their big record contract.
She's very good friends with Mackenzie Phillips and Carnie Wilson.
There's a great Mamas & Papas biopic still waiting to made (at one point they were talking about Carnie Wilson as Cass and Chynna Phillips as her mom Michelle). Maybe as all the current TV nostalgia for the early 60s moves on to like '66-'67, it will finally happen.
You'd need a tall scrawny guy as John and a really cute hairy cub as Denny.
[quote]at one point they were talking about Carnie Wilson as Cass
Overdubbing will be needed.
Michelle had (at least in the early 00s) suggested Denise Richards to play herself and Kathy Nijimy to play Cass.
I think a scruffy Eric Belfour would make a good John. I'm not sure about Denny.
AFAIK, Michelle owns the rights to any forthcoming movie and is waiting for the right script/cast to come along.
Having Carnie and Chynna play those roles is the worst idea I evert heard.
Adele slurs her words and bends the vocal line - like Winehouse, who learned from Dinah Washington, who learned from Billie Holliday.
Cass Elliot didn't use those tricks, and was more in line with Ella F and, as someone upstream said, Kate Smith.
I just downloaded her bubble gum pop album, which has 2 of her 3 solo Top 40 hits, "Getting Better" and "Make Your Own Music." Actually "Make Your Own Music" was recorded released after the first issue of the 1969 album, and then they re-released the album titled "Make Your Own Music."
The album came about in the wake of a disastrous Vegas stint in 1968. She had gone on a crash diet that affected her voice and she couldn't even make it through rehearsals without complaining she was losing her voice. She ended up deep in debt, so her record company took over control of her next album with an unapologetically commercial bubble gum sound. The producer chose all the songs.
It was her only bubble gum album, and some critics of course think it was an artistic sellout, but it's very good for that type of music. I actually like Sunshine Pop as it's called, when it's good, and Cass' bubble gum album is very good. What's not to love about sunny pop music with Cass's quality vocals?
There's also a 90s club remix of Make Your Own Music, it's on a dance compilation I bought. I think it charted fairly high on the dance chart too.
I remember just a couple of months before she died she was in London. When she left the chi-chi hotel, she stole the bed comforter.
When the hotel noticed this, the hotel had her arrested at Heathrow airport. She never got on the plane. It must have been a humiliating experience for her.
I spit up my drink when I saw the video at R33 - at a DataLounge gathering.
Cass may have loved Denny with all her heart, but it was not mutual, unfortunately. Michelle was probably used to getting any man she wanted and Denny just happened to be available one night. I don't think their affair lasted for any length of time. John wrote "I Saw Her Again Last Night" to make Denny feel bad about fucking Michelle. John loved that Denny had to sing it night after night.
If you believe Michelle, she said that Cass called her from London that night to tell her about the success she was having with the concert.
Denny told a few different versions about Cass begging him to marry her. None of them sounded remotely true.
Cass was getting standing ovations every night with her London concerts, so it is believable that she was calling people about it. Her solo career was finally looking like it'd be a success, after many setbacks.
Here's the '90s remix of "Make Your Own Kind of Music" (Yum Club Mix). The Mathieu Bouthier remix from a few years ago is nice too.
Owen Elliot sings on one track of the new Wilson Phillips album, "Dedicated," where they do covers of songs their parents made famous.
[quote] what really were her incomparable accomplishments? She was in a hit band, but there have been lots of people under the age of 33 in hit bands; and remember, she didn't do that well on her own... she had one small hit ("Make Your Own Kind of Music") and played Witchiepoo's best friend in the kid's movie HR PUFNSTUF.
No, her solo career wasn't a big success, or hadn't been yet at the time of her death. But for the record she did have more solo hits. Dream A Little Dream was recorded with Mamas/Papas, but she had the lead vocal and it was credited to her, to launch her solo career. It peaked at around #12. "It's Getting Better" was as big of a hit as "Make Your Own Music", both peaked around #35. "New World Coming" was nearly as successful, peaking just outside of the top 40. Also the fact that she had two tv specials in her short career, is evidence that she was more popular than you're suggesting.
I was the one who bumped this thread a month ago to talk about her bubblegum album. Since then I've explored her entire 10yr recording career. This thread doesn't discuss it in much detail, so I'd like to now.
Her recording career started with the folk group "The Big Three." They recorded two album in '63 and '64, and were comparable to Peter, Paul & Mary. I don't like folk music much but did find 5 "Big Three" songs I like:
Winken, Blinken and Nod
Come Away Melinda
"come Away Melinda" is my favorite, very pretty.
Next she joined the folk-rock group Mugwumps. They were only together for 10 months and only recorded 9 songs. The folk-rock sound hadn't been popularized quite yet, so they were before their time. The album was only released after Mamas/Papas had become successful.
I'll Remember Tonight - their only single, Cass is shown off to great effect as she keeps hitting a very loud high note in the chorus. That girl could really belt!
Here It Is Another Day - folk-rock ballad
Everybody's Been Talkin' - great vocal arrangement/harmonizing, sounds like the Beatles to me.
Then she hit it big in Mamas/Papas, I'll start a new post for that.
I don't like the Mamas/Papas very much, although I'm glad Cass found success with them. It probably took a hippie group to allow an obese woman to become a star. But to me, folk music often sounds corny and that's my problem with the group.
"California Dreaming" and "Monday, Monday" are too played out to even consider. I downloaded their 1998 greatest hits album, considered by All Music Guide to be their best, but didn't like hardly any of it. They recorded so many cover versions, I hate most of them. All I liked are:
Dedicated To The One I Love
I Call Your Name (Beatles cover)
I'm linking the greatest hits album I downloaded. If anyone wants to suggest any hidden gems album cuts not listed at the link, I'd be happy to listen to them.
Cass left for a solo career in 1968. Her first solo single was "Dream A Little Dream" and it was a hit. The accompanying album is fantastic, brilliantly produced by John Simon of The Band. Really great, classy music. Can anyone suggest any other great albums he produced?
I like almost all of it except "Blues For Breakfast" and "Rubber Band."
The 2nd single California Earthquake is great, but was considered too much of an oddball subject matter I guess. It missed the top 40, so her record company then insisted on a more commercial sound for her next album, which led to her bubblegum phase.
Cass' bubblegum phase started with her Bubblegum and Lemonade album in 1969. "Move In a Little Closer Baby" was the lead single but it was only a modest hit at around #60. Next "It's Getting Better" was a full-fledged hit at #30. After the album was released, she recorded "Make Your Own Music" which became a hit, so they re-released the album with "Music" tacked on. Cass' bubblegum phase didn't end there though, she kept recording and releasing singles with the same producer Steve Barri, considered a top bubblegum producer. Another single became a semi-hit, "New World Coming." Eventually, in 1971, the album-less singles were collected for a greatest hits album, Mama's Big Ones.
Steve Barri was a drummer so a lot of the stuff he recorded for her had a nice, fast, heavy beat, almost disco. These are my favorite of those songs:
It's Getting Better
Make Your Own Kind Of Music
Move A Little Closer, Baby
One Way Ticket
Welcome To The World
I really love all those songs. Different was recorded for the Puff-N-Stuff movie and I'm not certain Barri produced it, but it's the same sound. It is considered a gay anthem.
The Bubblegum & Lemonade album also featured great ballads:
I Can Dream, Can't I?
He's A Runner (Laura Nyro)
Who's To Blame (Leah Kunkel, Cass' sister)
I also love the Tin Pan Alley "Lady Love." All Music Guide only gives the album 3 stars, which is definitely underrating it.
In 1971 she recorded an album with Dave Mason, formerly of Traffic. Dave had written the songs for his 2nd solo album, but he was friends with Cass and she'd join in when he sang the songs at her house (with other famous friends like Joni Mitchell.) Dave liked the way she made the songs sound, so it became a duet album. Cass is mostly just used as a background singer though, with few lead vocals. Still you can always tell she's there and she does improve the sound. Her lead vocal "Here We Go Again" is one of her best recordings, flawless. And the album as the whole is also very good, Dave's songwriting is strong and it's extremely well-produced. My favorites are:
Walk To A Point
To Be Free
Here We Go Again
Sit And Wonder
Too Much Truth, Too Much Love
Next To You
I checked out Dave's other music, and I think the Cass duet album is his best. He went way downhill afterwards.
Cass resumed in solo career in 1971 with a eponymous titled album. All Music Guide raves about it, but think it's just ok. My favorites are:
Baby I'm Yours
It's All in the Game
3 songs from the same recording sessions, but left off the album, were eventually released as cd bonus tracks. I like the jazzy ballad "East Of The Sun (And West Of The Moon)" and "Try It, Baby."
The next album was The Road Is No Place For A Lady in 1972. Again All Music Guide raves about it, but I really disagree this time. I only like the single "(If You're Gonna) Break Another Heart" and "Say Hello." It's not Cass' fault, whoever produced it just wasn't that good, imo.
Her last album was "Don't Call Me Mama Anymore" in 1973, a live album. I've only heard that one once, so I can't really review it, but I do like it. She was moving into a show-tune/cabaret phase by that time, showing off an impressive ability to hold long, loud high notes. I think it's comparable to Judy Garland. "I'll Be Seeing You" is a highlight.
Cass' career was on the upswing when she died in 1974, she was expected to be a success on the cabaret circuit. Her final two concerts in London were sold out, and she got standing ovations both nights. She could've been my Streisand, and I think she was a very lovable personality, underdogs are lovable. Probably would've ended up a big gay icon, which she still is to some extent.
All that "don't call me Mama anymore" nonsense really bugged me at the time. Own the fucking name that helped make you a fucking star. Some critics called her far worse names.
Even after she made that fuss about not being called "Mama Cass" she was billed for her British concerts as...ta dah..."Mama Cass!"
I love "I Call Your Name" and apparently John Lennon did too. He asked to meet her after hearing the record. If you listen carefully, you can hear her whispering "John" in the middle.
I didn't know a lot of her music outside of M&P but have been discovering it.
This makes me cry every time I watch it....three beautiful voices.