'San Francisco' Singer Scott McKenzie Dies

'San Francisco' Singer Scott McKenzie Dies

Scott McKenzie, who performed "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)" - which became a hit in 1967 during the city's "Summer of Love" -- has died.

A statement on McKenzie's website says the 73-year-old died on Saturday in Los Angeles. McKenzie battled Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a disease that affects the nervous system, and had been in and out of the hospital since 2010.

"San Francisco" was written by John Phillips, the leader of the 1960s group The Mamas and the Papas. But McKenzie sang it and it has stood as an anthem for the 1960s counterculture movement.

Phillips said he wrote the song in 1967 because he figured there would be a large migration of young people to California for the Monterey Pop Festival that summer, and wanted it to be peaceful.

"Scott inspired me to write the song," Phillips said in a 1996 interview found on McKenzie's website. "We were doing the Monterey Pop Festival, which I produced with Lou Adler, and the town of Monterey was sort of frightened by the thought of two hundred and fifty thousand hippies coming."

The song was a hit and spent 12 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 in mid-'67, topping out at No. 4. Later that year, another Phillips-penned record for McKenzie, "Like an Old Time Movie," reached No. 24 on the chart.

McKenzie also co-wrote "Kokomo," a No. 1 hit for The Beach Boys in 1988, and toured with The Mamas and the Papas in the 1990s.