Denny Doherty

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Denny Doherty

Dennis Gerrard Stephen Doherty (November 29, 1940 – January 19, 2007) was a Canadian singer and songwriter. He was most widely known as a founding member of the 1960s musical group The Mamas & the Papas.

The group burst on the national scene in 1966 with the top 10 smash "California Dreamin'." The Mamas and the Papas broke new ground by having women and men in one group at a time when most singing groups were unisex. John Phillips, the group's chief songwriter; his wife, Michelle; and another female vocalist, Cass Elliot, teamed with Doherty.

"Monday, Monday" hit No. 1 on the charts and won the band a Grammy for best contemporary group performance. Among the group's other songs were "I Saw Her Again Last Night," "Go Where You Wanna Go," "Dancing Bear," and versions of "I Call Your Name" and "Dedicated to the One I Love."

"What made the group special was their haunting and sumptuous harmony singing," according to "The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll."

"Everybody used to think that John Phillips, who wrote the songs, was also the main voice of the group, but it wasn't - it was the angelic voice of Denny Doherty," said Larry Leblanc, Canadian editor of Billboard Magazine. "He was often overlooked but it was really his voice that carried the group."

In 1998, the Mamas and the Papas were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.