The Globe and Mail – Review

An excellent and utterly absorbing look at the life of the late Denny Doherty, this is much better than usual TV biography. That’s mainly because there’s a lot of Doherty himself, telling his story. That’s derived from footage of his off-Broadway show called Dream a Little Dream, in which he gave his own and often emotionally raw viewpoint on the story of the Mamas & the Papas. It’s all here – his early life in Halifax, his beginning on the folk-music circuit and then the explosive relationship with Michelle Phillips, which tore the group apart. Given Doherty’s own commentary on what happened, this is a very intimate perspective on a raucous life and the whirlwind of the 1960s. Doherty talks with a sense humour, but there’s pain too. A lot of other people are interviewed and offer pithy, compassionate views of Doherty. One of the truly interesting segments has Paul Schaffer, from David Letterman’s band, talking about the intricacies and power of the Mamas & the Papas’ classic California Dreamin’.

No California dreamin' for Cdn family of Mamas & Papas singer Denny Doherty

TORONTO – There was no California dreamin’ for the family of the late Halifax singer Denny Doherty, who co-founded the 1960s sunshine pop group the Mamas & the Papas.

Emberly Doherty, his daughter, says her mother insisted he leave Los Angeles in the ’70s to escape the local rock ‘n’ roll party scene that sparked his alcohol addiction. (more…)

Denny Doherty Comes Alive at The Atlantic Film Festival

Most people in the world who are tied into western music have heard Denny Doherty sing. He was, after all, the lead male voice of The Mamas and the Papas, one the key groups that defined the 1960’s. Composed also of John Phillips, “Mama” Cass Elliot and Michelle Phillips, they brought a vocal explosion to radio that rivaled the best of the Motown groups. Their popularity brought them many times to that holiest of shrines, The Ed Sullivan Show, where it said Sullivan liked them as much as Elvis Presley. (more…)