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1960s / REMEMBERING MAMA CASS ELLIOTT Dream a Little Dream
Cass Elliot was born Ellen Naomi Cohen on Sept 19th 1941. Her restauranteur father nicknamed her'Cass' after the Trojan princess, Cassandra. She adopted the name Cass Elliot during her teens. The name Mama Cass evolved from her involvement with the Mamas and Papas. This is what John Phillips said about Cass in an interview in August 1995 at Paramount Studios: "Her father had a deli in New York. I remember her as a little, chubby girl, with the stained apron on, behind the counter. [Laughs] We were sort of infamous in that area, and when she got to New York, she knew who we were, but we didn't know who she was. And she had met Denny, and Denny said, "I know this girl that sings wonderfully. We should have her over and sing with her." It happened to be that LSD was actually legal at the time. It wasn't a banned drug or anything. We searched all over the Village and found some contemporary artist who had some and he gave it to us. We were about to take it that night, when the knock on the door came and Cass came in. So we all had it together the same night, for the first time, and I think that formed a bond between the four of us that we just never stopped singing. We just went on and on and on and on, until the trip wore off, which was about four years later." Cass Elliott died July 29, 1974. Contrary to what many people have been led to believe over the years, she did not choke on a sandwich. According to her doctor, the cause was heart failure.