Scott McKenzie, a pop-folk singer whose biggest hit was one of the iconic songs of the Summer of Love, "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)," has died at the age of 73, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.
McKenzie had long been fighting Guillain-Barre syndrome, a disease that affects the nervous system, according to the report. He died Aug. 18.
McKenzie was part of the hippie music movement and performed at the Monterey International Pop Music Festival along with the Mamas and the Papas, Jimi Hendrix, Country Joe & the Fish and others.
His signature hit was actually written by John Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas. It reached number four on the Billboard Hot 100 and went to No. 1 in the U.K. and other countries, selling more than 7 million copies worldwide.
The story notes: “Even though it became one of the most famous songs about San Francisco, many locals dismissed it as a slick pop imagining of the Haight-Ashbury scene with no real connection to the events taking place there, particularly in the lyrics: ‘For those who come to San Francisco / Summertime will be a love-in there / In the streets of San Francisco / Gentle people with flowers in their hair.’"
Said Joel Selvin, former San Francisco Chronicle pop music critic and author of the books "Monterey Pop" and "Summer of Love": "The song was created by Hollywood hippies who were not a part of what they were writing about, and they got it wrong. In San Francisco, the song was treated with a range from scorn to ridicule."
McKenzie co-wrote the 1980s song “Kokomo,” which was a No. 1 hit for the Beach Boys.
McKenzie had no surviving family members.
Here’s what McKenzie’s big hit looked and sounded like back in The Day: