Denny Doherty, a member of the 1960s folk-rock group the Mamas and the Papas, known for their soaring harmony on hits like "California Dreamin' " and "Monday, Monday," died Friday at his home in Mississauga after a short illness. He was 66.
The group burst on the national scene in 1966 with the top 10 smash "California Dreamin'." The Mamas and the Papas broke new ground by having women and men in one group at a time when most singing groups were unisex. John Phillips, the group's chief songwriter; his wife, Michelle; and another female vocalist, Cass Elliot, teamed with Doherty.
"Monday, Monday" hit No. 1 on the charts and won the band a Grammy for best contemporary group performance.
Among the group's other songs were "I Saw Her Again Last Night," "Go Where You Wanna Go," "Dancing Bear," and versions of "I Call Your Name" and "Dedicated to the One I Love."
In 1998, the Mamas and the Papas were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
"What made the group special was their haunting and sumptuous harmony singing," according to "The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll."
The group's catchy sound was a blend of 1960s upbeat pop and the folk music that had surged in popularity early in the decade.
But the group's heyday was brief, and it disbanded in 1968 following John and Michelle Phillips' divorce. The members re-formed in 1971 for the album "People Like Us," but all hope for a reunion ended in 1974 when the 32-year-old Elliot suffered a fatal heart attack in London.
John Phillips briefly re-formed the group in 1982 with Doherty; Phillips' actress daughter, Mackenzie; and Elaine "Spanky" McFarlane. The foursome toured playing oldies and new Phillips originals.
John Phillips died in 2001 at 65.