Singer Scott McKenzie, best known for the 1967 hit “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers In Your Hair),” has died at the age of 73.
“It is with much sadness that we report the passing of Scott McKenzie in LA on the 18th of August, 2012,” said a statement posted on his website.
McKenzie’s cause of death was not immediately released, but his website noted that he had been in and out of the hospital in the years leading up to his passing.
Born in Jacksonville, Florida in 1939, McKenzie (whose birthname was Philip Wallach Blondhiem) began singing at an early age, and, by the time he was in high school, formed a vocal group called the Singing Strings.
After the Strings, McKenzie teamed up with John Phillips (The Mamas & the Papas), Mike Boran, and Bill Cleary to create a doo wap band, The Abstracts.
In New York, the Abstracts went through several name and personnel changes before becoming the Journeymen, a folk-style group that recorded several albums in the early 1960s.
When the Journeymen broke up, McKenzie declined Phillips’ offer to join the Mamas & the Papas, trying for a solo career instead.
The pair remained close, and, when Phillips wrote “San Francisco,” he had McKenzie sing on the record. The track became a counterculture anthem and hit Number 4 in the US and Number 1 on the UK charts.
Speaking of the song’s success, McKenzie wrote in 2002:
“I am amazed at how San Francisco continues even now to evoke dreams in the hearts and minds of people all over the world.”
Aside from “San Francisco (Be Sure To Where Flowers In Your Hair),” McKenzie co-wrote the Beach Boys 1988 No. 1 hit “Kokomo.”
McKenzie did a few more recording sessions and live gigs in his last years.
According to his NY Daily, Scott McKenzie became a major fan of Facebook, where he was posting poetry until August 12.
via NY Daily