Flower Power Icon, Singer Scott McKenzie Dead at 73

'Wear Flowers in Your Hair' defined hippie era
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 20, 2012 1:03 AM CDT

(Newser) – Singer Scott McKenzie, best known for his song "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)," died Saturday at the age of 73, reports the BBC. Released in 1967, "San Francisco" became one of the most iconic songs of the hippie era, helping define the counterculture movement, and topped the charts around the world. "I am amazed at how 'San Francisco' continues even now to evoke dreams in the hearts and minds of people all over the world," he wrote in 2002.

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Born Philip Wallach Blondheim in Florida in 1939, McKenzie was a close friend of The Mamas and the Papas, having known frontman John Phillips (who wrote "San Francisco") since they were teenagers. He declined an invitation to join the band, preferring to sing as a solo performer, although he joined a touring version of the group in the 1980s. He also co-wrote the Beach Boys' hit "Kokomo." McKenzie had been fighting Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a disease of the nervous system, since 2010. (Read more Scott McKenzie stories.)

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