A star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame will be unveiled Monday honoring the late singer “Mama” Cass Elliot, fulfilling a longtime quest by the daughter of the member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame pop group, The Mamas & the Papas.
Bandmate Michelle Phillips and John Sebastian, an original member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame rock band Lovin’ Spoonful, are set to speak at the 11:30 a.m. ceremony at 7065 Hollywood Blvd. between La Brea and Sycamore avenues.
Elliot’s daughter Owen Elliot-Kugell, and the singer’s sister, singer-turned-attorney Leah Kunkel, will accept the star on behalf of the family.
The Hollywood Walk of Fame’s selection committee approved Elliot-Kugell’s application for a star for her mother in 2015. She had not been previously nominated, according to Ana Martinez, producer of the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The star is the 2,735th since the completion of the Walk of Fame in 1961 with the first 1,558 stars. The ceremony will be streamed on the Walk of Fame’s website, www.walkoffame.com.
Born Ellen Naomi Cohen on Sept. 19, 1941, in Baltimore, Elliot initially sought a career in theater, including auditioning for the role of Miss Marmelstein in the 1962 Broadway musical, “I Can Get It For You Wholesale,” according to the biography on her website, casselliot.com. The role went to an actress with no previous Broadway experience, Barbra Streisand.
In 1963, Elliot, Tim Rose and John Brown formed a folk trio initially known as the Triumvirate, later known as The Big 3, who recorded two albums and appeared on “The Tonight Show” and the variety shows “Hootenanny” and “The Danny Kaye Show.”
The group metamorphasized into Cass Elliot and The Big 3, which included singer Denny Doherty, and later The Mugwumps, who released a single for Warner Bros. Records.
In mid-1965, Elliot joined Doherty, Phillips and her husband John, who had been performing as the New Journeymen, to form The Mamas & the Papas. The group’s first album “If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears,” released Feb. 28, 1966, was 112th on Rolling Stone’s 2012 list of the 500 greatest albums of all time and part of the 2010 book, “1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.”
“If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears” was the group’s only album to reach the top of the Billboard 200 chart.
The album included “Monday, Monday,” which brought the group its only four Grammy nominations, and a win for best contemporary rock ‘n’ roll group performance, vocal or instrumental in a field that also included The Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations” and The Monkees’ “Last Train to Clarksville.”
“Monday, Monday” was also nominated for record of the year, which was won by Frank Sinatra’s rendition of “Strangers in the Night”; best performance by a vocal group, losing to the Anita Kerr Singers’ “A Man and a Woman”; and best contemporary rock ‘n’ roll recording, losing to “Winchester Cathedral” by the New Vaudeville Band.
The group initially recorded from 1965-68, recording four albums and 16 singles. It reunited in 1971, recording the album “People Like Us” and the single “Step Out.” Its other memorable songs include “California Dreamin”’ “Dream a Little Dream of Me,” “Creeque Alley” and “Dedicated to the One I Love”
The group’s first concert was at the Hollywood Bowl and it closed the famed Monterey International Pop Festival in 1967.
Elliot recorded five solo albums with hits including “It’s Getting Better,” “Make Your Own Kind of Music” and “New World Coming.”
Elliot starred in prime-time television specials in 1969 and 1973, guest-hosted “The Tonight Show” multiple times, co-hosted “The Mike Douglas Show” for a week in 1974 and appeared on “The Ed Sullivan Show” and “The Carol Burnett Show.”
Elliot died of a heart attack on July 29, 1974, at age 32 following a series of sold-out performances at the London Palladium.