A rarely-seen clip of The Mamas & The Papas performing a medley of their hits, “Monday Monday”, ”I Call Your Name” and “California Dreamin’” is one of the latest gems to emerge from the vaults of The Ed Sullivan Show. You can check the footage out below.
The Mamas & Papas appearance on the show dates from September 24, 1967 and is both highly enjoyable and also wonderfully surreal. Cass Elliott immediately receives a warm response for the audience for sardonically suggesting these three tunes “are partially responsible for our enormous wealth” during the introduction and the group’s performance continues in the same vein, with Michelle Phillips peeling and then eating a banana during “California Dreamin’”, Elliott delivering her vocal for “I Call Your Name” while sitting in a bath, and the whole band bringing stage props including a fire hydrant and an inflatable globe to the front of the stage for the finale.
During the band’s interview with Ed Sullivan on the show, John Phillips also famously confirmed that while The Mamas & The Papas weren’t breaking up, they were taking a break. In the period running up to the band’s slot on the show, recordings for their fourth album, The Papas & The Mamas, had stalled. However, the band did complete the record, which was eventually released in May 1968.
Both “Monday Monday” and the inimitable “California Dreamin’” featured on The Mamas & The Papas highly-acclaimed debut album, 1965’s If You Can Believe Your Eyes And Ears. The former also rewarded them with their lone US Billboard Hot 100 chart topper. Both songs have since been certified as gold records by the RIAA. In total, the band went on to sell over 40 million records worldwide.