Friday, September 19, 2014

Cass Elliot: The Mama With The Golden Voice

Cass Elliot in 1972

Today - September 19 - marks the birthday of Ellen Naomi Cohen in Baltimore, Maryland in 1941. If you enjoyed the folk-rock evolution going on the mid-1960's, you know her as Cass Elliot or Mama Cass. It's difficult to imagine that Call Elliot and the other members of The Mamas & The Papas - Michelle Phillips, John Phillips and Denny Doherty - could produce such a wealth of sound and harmony in the three years they were together. Much of their success must be credited to Elliot's bubbly personality, stage presence, and her marvelous, powerful voice.

When the group broke up in 1968 she sustained a solo career through a wide number of television appearances before shedding her "Mama Cass" image and moving into the cabaret scene as Cass Elliot in the early 1970's. Her career was ascending rapidly in 1974 when she was taken from us by a heart attack following the completion of a two week run in London.

You rarely find diction, pitch, and power in singers today, And you have to keep in mind that Cass Eliot performed long before the advent of digital pitch correction and the "art" of turning an unskilled voice into an opera star. 

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