Kelly Clarkson brought all the cozy, haunting fall vibes to her latest Kellyoke performance on Wednesday (Nov. 9), this time opting for a cover of The Mamas & the Papas‘ 1965 track, “California Dreamin’.”
“All the leaves are brown and the sky is gray / I’ve been for a walk on a winter’s day / I’d be safe and warm if I was in L.A.,” she opens the track, a perfect fit for a November afternoon. Dressed in a flowing blue dress complete with a red lip, Clarkson was backed by her bandmates Jaco Caraco on guitar and Jason Halbert on piano for the poignant melody.
The song was originally written by John Phillips and Michelle Phillips and first recorded by Barry McGuire, but was popularized by The Mamas & The Papas in 1965. Their version of “California Dreamin'” spent 17 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart, peaking at No. 4 in 1966. Nearly 50 years later, in 2016, German DJ Freischwimmer (real name: Sebastian Bernhardt) hit No. 1 on the Dance Club Songs chart with a house cover of the hit.
Three other versions of the song went on to hit the Hot 100: by Bobby Womack (No. 43, 1969), America (No. 56, 1979) and the Beach Boys (No. 57, 1986). Meanwhile, Diana Krall and Sia are among other acts that have taken their versions of “California” to other Billboard tallies.
Other recent Kellyoke picks by Clarkson for her daytime show have included Jimmy Eat World’s “The Middle,” Alec Benjamin’s “Let Me Down Slowly” Monica’s “Angel of Mine,” Faith Hill’s “Breathe,” Solomon Burke’s “Cry to Me,” Joni Mitchell’s Christmastime classic “River,” John Legend’s “In My Mind,” “Heartbreak Anthem” by David Guetta, Galantis and Little Mix and more.
Check out Kelly Clarkson’s cover of The Mamas & The Papas’ “California Dreamin'” below.