California Dreamin'

Today's post is for those of you in the North East and still buried in the snow.

You're probably thinking to yourself, "It's March... we should be able to see the grass by now"

I kind of feel guilty because we have had such a mild winter here in Oregon. I don't think we saw any snow on the ground at all where I live.

So, this one is for all of you that are still getting use out of your snow blowers and ice scrapers.

"California Dreamin'" is a song written by John Phillips and Michelle Phillips and first recorded by The Mamas & the Papas, released as a single in 1965. The song is #89 in Rolling Stone'​s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. The lyrics of the song express the narrator's longing for the warmth of California during a cold winter.

The song became a signpost of the arrival of the nascent counterculture era.

The song was written in 1963 while John Phillips and Michelle Phillips were living in New York. He dreamed about the song and woke her up to help him write it. At the time, John and Michelle Phillips were members of the folk group "The New Journeymen", which evolved into The Mamas & the Papas.

They earned their first record contract after being introduced to Lou Adler, the head of Dunhill Records, by Barry McGuire. In thanks to Adler, they sang the backing vocals to "California Dreamin'" on McGuire's album This Precious Time. The Mamas and the Papas then recorded their own version, using the same instrumental and backing vocal tracks to which they added new vocals and an alto flute solo by Bud Shank. P. F. Sloan did the guitar introduction. McGuire's original vocal can be briefly heard on the left channel at the beginning of the record, having not been completely wiped.

The single was released in late 1965 but was not an immediate breakthrough. After gaining little attention in Los Angeles upon its release, Michelle Phillips remembers that it took a radio station in Boston to break the song nationwide. After making its chart debut in January 1966, the song peaked at #4 in March on both the Hot 100, lasting 17 weeks, and Cashbox, lasting 20 weeks.

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