People we love: Mama Cass Elliott

Cass Elliott (Ellen Naomi Cohen), September 19, 1941 – July 29, 1974

Born on this Day in 1941.

Cass Elliott, also known as Mama Cass was an American singer and member of The Mamas and the Papas. She later released five solo albums.

In 1998, Elliot along with the other members of The Mamas and the Papas; John Phillips, Denny Doherty, and Michelle Phillips were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Cass Elliott grew up in the suburbs of Washington DC but left high school shortly before graduation to go to New York. She toured ina production of The Music Man. She later returned to Washington to study at American University where she began to actively pursue her singing career.

John Phillips and his wife Michelle were members of The New Journeymen, along with Denny Doherty. In 1965, Doherty convinced Phillips that Cass Elliott should join the group which was renamed The Mamas and the Papas. Their final album was releasd in 1971.

Elliott was both a drug user and tried extreme weight loss measures which ultimately led to her death. While legend has it that she choked on a ham sandwich there was no truth to that rumor.

Cass Elliott died of a heart attack on July 29, 1974. She was 32.

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