San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)
|"San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair)"|
|Single by Scott McKenzie|
|from the album The Voice of Scott McKenzie|
|B-side||"What's the Difference"|
|Released||May 13, 1967|
|Label||Columbia 2757 (UK and Canada)
Ode 103 (US)
|Producer(s)||Lou Adler, John Phillips|
|Scott McKenzie singles chronology|
"San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)" is an American pop music song, written by John Phillips of The Mamas & the Papas, and sung by Scott McKenzie. The song was produced and released in May 1967 by Phillips and Lou Adler, who used it to promote their Monterey International Pop Music Festival held in June of that year. John Phillips played guitar on the recording and session musician Gary L. Coleman played orchestra bells and chimes. The bass line of the song was supplied by session musician Joe Osborn. Hal Blaine played drums.
Phillips reported writing the song in about 20 minutes.
The song, which tells the listeners, "If you're going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair", is credited with bringing thousands of young people to San Francisco, California, during the late 1960s.
Released on May 13, 1967, the song was an instant hit. By the week ending July 1, 1967, it reached the number four spot on the Billboard Hot 100 in the USA, where it remained for four consecutive weeks. Meanwhile, the song rose to number one in the UK Singles Chart, and most of Europe. The single is purported to have sold over seven million copies worldwide. In Central Europe, young people adopted "San Francisco" as an anthem for freedom, and it was widely played during Czechoslovakia's 1968 Prague Spring uprising.
The song has been featured in several films, including Frantic, The Rock, and Forrest Gump. Episode 2 in season 1 of "Getting On (U.S. TV series)" featured the song, as it was sung by one of the patients and was used over the episode's closing credits. It was also played occasionally by Led Zeppelin as part of the improvised section in the middle of "Dazed and Confused". U2's Bono also led the audience in singing this song during their PopMart performances in the San Francisco Bay Area on June 18 and 19, 1997. New Order covered the song on July 11, 2014, at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco.
Other covers and samples
- Petula Clark also released a cover in 1967.
- Merrilee Rush released a cover in 1968.
- Tanya Tucker released a cover in 1979.
- Audrey Landers released a cover in 1984.
- CBS released a remix by Peter Slaghuis in 1989 ("Remix 89", CBS 6550717)
- Ted Hawkins released a cover in 1995.
- Me First and the Gimme Gimmes released a cover in their 2001 album Blow in the Wind.
- Global Deejays released a cover called The Sound of San Francisco in 2004.
- San Quinn sampled the song for his song "San Francisco Anthem"
- Stars On 45 about 8 seconds of the song is included in the '60s' medley from the album Stars on Long Play II.
- The Electric Hellfire Club used a small sample of the song in the intro to their song "Black Bus," from the album Burn, Baby, Burn!
- Jill Sobule included an homage to the song on her 2009 song "San Francisco".
- Estonian singer Marco Margna released an Estonian language cover of the song on his 2009 album Mu kõrval sa.
- 1967 in music
- Best-selling singles worldwide
- Counterculture of the 1960s
- List of songs about California
- List of number-one singles from the 1960s (UK)
- List of number-one singles in 1967 (New Zealand)
- List of number-one hits of 1967 (Germany)
- List of number-one singles of 1967 (Ireland)
- Summer of Love
- List of number-one hits in Norway
- Rice, Jo (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. p. 110. ISBN 0-85112-250-7.
- Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 42 – The Acid Test: Psychedelics and a sub-culture emerge in San Francisco. [Part 2]" (audio). Pop Chronicles. Digital.library.unt.edu.
- Davis, Clive (February 19, 2013). "8: Monterey Pop". The Soundtrack of My Life. Simon & Schuster. pp. 62–64. ISBN 9781476714790.
- "Scott McKenzie, 1960s counter-culture singer, dies at 73". Telegraph. Retrieved 2014-04-06.
- John Phillips interviewed on the Pop Chronicles (1969)
- Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits: Eighth Edition. Record Research. p. 415.
- Carson, Jim (August 5, 2011). "Did You You: "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)" By Scott McKenzie". CBS Radio. Retrieved 2012-02-24.
- Youtube - New Order***Full Concert***Live at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, SF, CA, July 11, 2014
- Discogs: Scott McKenzie – San Francisco (Remix '89)
- Guinness Book of British Hit Singles – 19th Edition – ISBN 1-904994-10-5
- The Book of Golden Discs – 2nd Edition – ISBN 0-214-20512-6
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