89. The Mamas and the Papas, 'California Dreamin''
Writers: John and Michelle Phillips
Producer: Lou Adler
Released: Dec. '65, Dunhill
17 weeks; No. 4
One frigid winter in Manhattan, a song came to John Phillips in the middle of the night. He woke up his young wife, Michelle, who was homesick for the West Coast, to help him finish writing "California Dreamin'," one of the all-time sunniest songs of longing. The tune was first recorded by Phillips' folk group the New Journeymen and later given to Barry McGuire as a thank-you after McGuire, riding high with "Eve of Destruction," introduced the group to producer Lou Adler, who convinced the Mamas and the Papas to cut it themselves.
Appears on: If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears (MCA)