San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)
|San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)|
|publication||May 13, 1967|
|Genre (s)||Pop , folk|
|Author (s)||John Phillips|
San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair) is a song from 1967 that Scott McKenzie sang to become the hippie hymn and a million seller . The piece was written by John Phillips and was released on ODE Records.
History of origin
The interpreter Scott McKenzie had already participated in several groups before he appeared as a soloist. In 1964 he founded The Journeymen, a folk rock group with John Phillips . In just 20 minutes, Phillips wrote the song that glorified the city of San Francisco and hippie culture. He was McKenzie's fourth single as a soloist.
At the beginning of May 1967, a recording was scheduled for Studio 3 at Western Recorders in Hollywood . Ray Charles , Frank Sinatra and the Beach Boys had already recorded here. While Phillips played lead guitar and sitar , session musicians known as The Wrecking Crew, such as pianist Larry Knechtel , bassist Joe Osborn, and drummer Hal Blaine, did the rest of the instrumental work. Mama Cass from Mamas & Papas played the bells. The backing track initially remained without vocals, because the vocal track was subsequently laid over the music track in four takes at night in the Sound Factory Recording Studio in San Francisco. John Phillips and Lou Adler were registered as producers.
Already on May 4, 1967, the single was released under the title San Francisco 'Wear Some Flowers In Your Hair' on ODE. On May 13th it was launched with the addition of 'Be Sure' . The single with the reverse, What's the Difference, was only the second record in the young label's catalog. Her co-producer Lou Adler owned the newly founded ODE label. The Billboard Music Magazine described the song shortly after the release as "sensitive, emotional ballad, which is based on the West Coast Love Movement and will bring the ODE label quickly into the top 10". On May 27, 1967, the record came into the US hit parade, where it reached fourth place as the highest ranking. After the announcement by Mama Cass, Scott McKenzie sang the piece, which is developing into a million-seller, on June 18, 1967 at the Monterey International Pop Festival . In England, the record reached number one with a total of 250,000 copies sold, while it was sold seven million times worldwide. In Germany, the song reached first place on October 14, 1967, where it stayed for six weeks.
The soulful ballad contains glorifying statements about hippie culture, which was popularized on January 14, 1967 by the Human Be-In in Golden Gate Park of San Francisco with 20,000 hippies. The aim of the flower power counterculture was to turn away from the norms of western ( petty ) bourgeois society, they preached “ altruism , mysticism , honesty, fun and non-violence, combined with an almost childlike fascination for pearls, flowers and bells, deafening music and exotic music Clothing and erotic slogans ”. The play portrays McKenzie and the entire Flower Power movement as a "new generation with a new explanation" and inspired numerous young people to travel to San Francisco and present themselves as "Flower Children".
"If you're going to San Francisco,
be sure to wear some flowers in your hair.
If you come to San Francisco,
Summertime will be a love-in there. "
- David Roberts, Dave McAleer: Guinness Book of British Hit Singles. 19th edition. Guinness World Records, London 2006, ISBN 1-904994-10-5 .
- Jo Rice: The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits. Guinness Superlatives, Enfield 1982, ISBN 0-85112-250-7 .
- Joseph Murrells: The Book of Golden Discs. 2nd Edition. Barrie & Jenkins, London 1978, ISBN 0-214-20512-6 .
- Chart sources: DE US AT CH UK
- Jim Cogan, William Clark: Temples of Sound. 2003, p. 31 ff.
- 45cat.com: Original pressings listed A side title as San Francisco 'Wear Some Flowers In Your Hair' , modified effective May 8, 1967. Retrieved May 10, 2017 .
- Joseph Murrells: Million Selling Records. 1985, p. 245.
- Time Magazine, July 7, 1967: The Hippies: Philosophy Of A Subculture (cover)
- Time Magazine, July 7, 1967: The Hippies: Philosophy Of A Subculture (text)
- San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Some Flowers In Your Hair). cover.info