California Dreamin’ was written by John Phillips and Michelle Phillips when they were living in New York.
In 1963, John Phillips dreamed about the song. Upon waking, he shook his wife, Michelle, awake and together the couple wrote the songs.
At the time, the couple were members of “The New Journeymen”, a folk group. This group would later evolve into The Mamas & the Papas.
The Phillips first sang the backup vocals of the song on Barry McGuire’s release of the song on his album This Precious Time.
The Mamas & the Papas later recorded their own version of the song, releasing their single in late 1965.
The song gained little attention until a radio station in Boston began playing the song and it became a huge hit. In January 1966, the song peaked at #4 on the charts.
The song has also been recorded by Nancy Sinatra, the Beach Boys, the Carpenters, the Four Tops and numerous others.
The song has also been used in numerous movies and TV shows.
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