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Mama Cass Print-ready version

by Richard Flohil
Toronto Daily Star
June 21, 1969
Original article: PDF

With the Mamas and the Papas behind her, Cass Elliot launches her solo TV career Thursday at 9:00 p.m.

Softly and gently, the new music is making the television screen. One by one, the long-haired beautiful people so carefully imitated by the folk up on Yorkville Avenue, are getting their talents across into all the straight living rooms in North America.

Sure, the TV networks are still a little frightened of what they are getting involved with. And a good example is the hour-long Mama Cass Television Program scheduled for Thursday on Channel 7 at 9:00 p.m.

Cass Elliott [sic], you'll remember, was the hugely chubby lady who used to sing with a group called The Mamas and the Papas, now, alas, lost in the fast swirling changes of the pop music business. Mama Cass was big, all right, but she had class - and when she split from the group all the signals were "go;" she was to become a major star.

So Mama Cass began to lose weight. Mama Cass took voice lessons. Mama Cass learned to dance. And Mama Cass got the big, big build-up, and a prestige booking in one of those $20-minimum Las Vegas night club rooms.

But it all went wrong. Her voice gave out that awful first night. Her script was a pile of garbage. The arrangements were appalling. And the audience left in droves, and Mama Cass left in tears - the big chance blown.

Now ABC is bringing us - hopefully - a singer who has, in one dreadful evening, paid more dues than most performers. She'll have some of her friends along, too.

John Sebastian, who used to lead a wonderful little group called The Loving Spoonful; Mary Travers who has long been one of those regular occasional TV performers with her folk-singing partners, Peter and Paul, and Canada's Joni Mitchell are on the show.

With all that sort of talent, all long on hair, the producers at ABC felt they should be careful not to turn [off] any uptight grownups. So they added, presumably for laughs, people like Buddy Hackett and Martin Landau and Barbara Bain, both of Mission Impossible.

But people who know where music is at these days will wait for her singing, and she'll do plenty of it.

This way, the comedy sketches and the production numbers are simple leavening for a lot of good new music. And having Mama Cass, back from Las Vegas in one piece after all, will be very nice.

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