Denny Doherty, a founding member of the 1960s folk-pop band the Mamas and the Papas, died yesterday at his home in Mississauga, Ontario. He was 66.
The cause was not immediately known, his daughter Emberly said. But she said her father had recently suffered kidney failure after surgery for a stomach aneurysm.
With chiming guitars and rich, meticulous harmonies that could be tinged with darkness, the Mamas and the Papas became one of the most popular and influential American bands of the era between the Beatles' arrival and Woodstock. Their enduring hits, like "California Dreamin'," "Monday, Monday" and "Dedicated to the One I Love," mixed the gentle jangle of folk with a rock backbeat and sweet, layered pop vocals.
RIP, Denny. The Mamas & The Papas were one seriously messed-up soap opera of a band, with drug abuse, alcoholism, unrequited love, pairings and unpairings that eventually undermined the group, but when they were together, they really were one of the voices of the 60's.