Singer – songwriter Scott McKenzie, whose 1967 ballad San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair) was one of the most peaceful of the era’s anti-war songs, died August 18 at his home in Los Angeles. He was 73.
Born Philip Blondheim on January 10, 1939, in Jacksonville, Florida, McKenzie grew up under difficult circumstances. His father died before he was 2, and his mother was forced to travel for work, so he was raised by his grandmother. San Francisco actually was written by John Phillips, a founder of the Mamas and the Papas, and who had been a close friend of McKenzie’s since they were in high school. The two started a band called the Journeyman, which recorded several songs in the 1960’s. McKenzie eventually set off on his own, but never had another hit song.
He leaves no survivors.