Michelle Phillips Visits The GRAMMY Museum

Singer discusses Mamas And The Papas' legacy, the Monterey Pop Festival and writing classics such as "California Dreamin'"
  • Photo: Rebecca Sapp/WireImage.com
    Michelle Phillips at the GRAMMY Museum
September 06, 2012 -- 3:49 pm PDT

Michelle Phillips of the GRAMMY-winning group Mamas And The Papas was the featured guest for a recent installment of the GRAMMY Museum's An Evening With series. Before an intimate audience at the Museum's Clive Davis Theater, Phillips discussed the historic Monterey Pop Festival, writing "California Dreamin'" and forming the Mamas And The Papas, among other topics.

"We had gotten all these groups together to play [the Monterey Pop Festival] saying that the money that was generated was going to go to music schools in Harlem [New York] and Watts [California] and free clinics," said Phillips. "To this day the Monterey Pop Festival generates hundreds of thousands of dollars every year."

Born Holly Michelle Gilliam in Long Beach, Calif., Phillips met her husband, the late John Phillips, in 1961. Together with Denny Doherty and Cass "Mama" Elliott, the quartet formed the Mamas And The Papas. Before disbanding in 1971, the group released a string of Top 5 Billboard Hot 100 hits, including 1966's "I Saw Her Again," "California Dreamin'" and "Monday, Monday," the latter of which earned a GRAMMY for Best Contemporary (R&R) Group Performance, Vocal Or Instrumental. "California Dreamin'" and "Monday, Monday" were inducted into the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame in 2001 and 2008, respectively. In 1967 the group was among the acts to perform at the Monterey Pop Festival, which John Phillips helped organize.

After the Mamas And The Papas, Phillips pursued a solo career and released her debut album, Victim Of Romance, in 1977. She also starred in several television series, including "Knots Landing," "Beverly Hills, 90210," "7th Heaven," and "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures Of Superman," among others. She earned a Golden Globe nomination in 1974 for New Star of the Year — Actress for her role in Dillinger. Phillips is also the mother to Chynna Phillips of the pop/rock trio Wilson Phillips.

Upcoming GRAMMY Museum events include The Drop: Steve Fobert (Sept. 11), An Evening With Lila Downs (Sept. 17) and Reel To Reel: Something From Nothing: The Art Of Rap (Sept. 19).

Email Newsletter