Monday, April 15, 2024


 Do you know the online encyclopedia CRAPAPEDIA?

If so, you probably realize how sorry ass it is.  Let's just focus on their entry on one of the major music groups of the sixties, The Mamas and The Papas.


Or, rather, one aspect. Because we could not begin to correct all of the errors in the post on The Mamas & The Papas. Need one example?  We'll do one example.  This sentence, "The band then traveled from New York to Los Angeles for an audition with Lou Adler, co-owner of Dunhill Records."  We guess the footnote's missing since CRAPAPEDIA knows it's a lie.  Traveling from New York to Los Angeles?  That did happen.

But not "for an audition with Lou Adler." And even "the band" isn't accurate.  Yes, they were vocal group but we're not splitting hairs over that.  All four members -- Cass Elliott, Denny Doherty, John and Michelle Phillips all left the Virgin Islands for New York.  But?  Cass then went off on her own.  The drive from New York to California?  In that car were Michelle, Denny, John and Billy Throckmorton (John's cousin).  Once Michelle, Denny and John arrived, Cass called produceer Kim Fowley to get him to listen to them and was interested in signing them (money was the issue). And he was interested in signing Michelle, Denny and John.  Cass arranged the audition and was at the audition but she wasn't part of the group. Looking for the money to sign them, Kim took them to Nick Venent (MIRA RECORDS) and Nick thought they had a good look -- the four of them: Cass, Michelle, Denny and John. Nick wanted to sign the band.  The next day, before meeting Nick to finalize the deal, the foursome visited their friend Barry McGuire who was recording in a studio.  They sang for him, he called Lou Adler who agreed to listen to them.  Lou would go on to produce them.  They had also tried COLUMBIA RECORDS.  But 'the band' didn't travel together from New York to California.  Cass found her own way west.  And there were no auditions set up before John, Michelle and Denny arrived.  Cass set up the first audition after they arrived and it was not with Lou.  

We could go line by line over the post and how it is one error after another.  But we want to focus on something else, the discography:

Studio albums

Title Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears
  • Released: February 1966
  • Label: Dunhill (D 50006 / DS 50006)
1 3
The Mamas & the Papas
  • Released: September 1966
  • Label: Dunhill (D 50010 / DS 50010)
4 10 14 24
  • Released: February 1967
  • Label: Dunhill (D 50014 / DS 50014)
2 3 30 4
The Papas & the Mamas
  • Released: May 1968
  • Label: Dunhill (DS 50031)
People Like Us
  • Released: November 1971
  • Label: Dunhill (DSX 50106)
84 55

Select compilation albums

Title Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
Farewell to the First Golden Era
  • Released: 1967
  • Label: Dunhill (D 50025 / DS 50025)
Golden Era Vol. 2
  • Released: 1968
  • Label: Dunhill (DS 50038)
Hits of Gold 7
16 of Their Greatest Hits
  • Released: 1969
  • Label: Dunhill (DS 50064)
61 13
20 Golden Hits
  • Released: 1973
  • Label: Dunhill (DSX 50145)
The Best of the Mamas and the Papas
  • Released: 1977
  • Label: Arcade (ADEP 30)
California Dreamin': The Very Best of the Mamas and the Papas 45 33 14
California Dreamin': The Greatest Hits of the Mamas and the Papas
  • Released: 1997
  • Label: Telstar (TTVCD 2931)
Greatest Hits
  • Released: 1998
  • Label: MCA (MCAD-11740)
California Dreamin': The Best of the Mamas and the Papas
  • Released: 2006
  • Label: UMTV (9841715)


Why'd we stop before "Singles"?  Because we're not interested in that.  We only include "Singles" so those too lazy to use a link will know that we didn't cut off any albums from the CRAPAPEDIA list.

Five studio albums.  Multiple compilation albums.

See the problem?


But people who actually know music do.

The original foursome also did a live album.  It's MONTEREY POP FESTIVAL.  Here's the cover of that album.

It was released in 1970.  It's from the historic Monterey Pop Festival that Lou, Michelle and John organized.  It's been trashed -- the album -- over the years.

Unfairly trashed.

We're not fans of The Who.  It's not just because Pete Townsend's got a kiddie porn issue.  It's also because the band is a nightmare.  For example, they blew out the speakers at Monterey.  The Mamas and the Papas had to follow that, they were the closer. Michelle didn't realize  -- nor did anyone else -- that her microphone wasn't working due to blown speaker.  


She has 'spillover' -- especially when standing closely to Cass -- on Cass' mike but you have to strain to hear her.  This is the case where we would favor AI being used -- and it being noted that AI was being used.  AI could amplify Michelle's non-miked vocals to give the group its sound.


They were too ragged!  They didn't sound like they did on the radio!  

That's because they couldn't reach "Harold" with just three vocals, they needed all four.  


This is Ty speaking in "Book Talk (Ty, Ava and C.I.)" from earlier this month.

The other is "Harold" and a feature that you want to write about.  Every week, we get together and ideas are pitched.  Ava and C.I. long ago dubbed WIKIPEDIA "Crapapedia" because it can't get facts right.  At The Mamas and the Papas entry, as Ava and C.I. have long pointed out, the original group has an album that's not noted even in the discography.  In the sketch on Cass, the author notes "Harvey."  That's what Denny dubbed the sound of the four of them singing together, saying it took on a fifth voice.  I think it's time to do the Mamas and the Papas piece and Harvey fits into that.


Ava and C.I. have long pointed out that the only live album the band released is not listed in the discography.  (The band being Cass, Michelle, Denny and John.  We're not interested in the revivals without Cass and Michelle.) It's a significant oversight.

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