Don’t call her mama, call her Cass

Have you ever watched Lost? If your answer is no then what’s wrong with you, why haven’t you watched that ICONIC TV show? If your answer is yes then you’ll be familiar with the song “Make Your Own Kind of Music” if you need a refresher that’s the song that was always playing around Desmond, the “see you on the other side brother” guy.  Anyways, now that you know what song I’m talking about let me tell you about the iconic singer of that song, Cass Elliott.

So the other day I was browsing Spotify trying to find something to listen to and happened to stumble upon a folk band called The Big Three. The music was dramatic, and SUPER folky at times but the female singers voice was so beautiful and haunting and I LOVED It.  After listening to “Come Away Melinda” (an antiwar song) “Young Girls Lament” (a song about a girl drinking and then dying??) and “Wild Women” (a super bluesy folk song with so much female swagger) on repeat I branched out and looked up the band’s female singer, Cass Elliott.

And okay WOW the thing about Cass Elliott is that she has such a huge range as a performer. My favorite songs from her with The Big Three are very folk and dramatic but then when I went into to her solo stuff it was so upbeat and almost Broadway. Songs like “Dont Call Me Mama Anymore” (a song referring to her departure from the band Mamas and Papas,) “Don’t Make Me a Memory” (a song that reminds me of Disney for some reason) and then her rendition of “Dream a Little Dream of Me” (with bonus rain sound effects) sounds as if it’s straight out of a musical. The duality between the songs through me for a loop at first but I’m just completely hooked by this woman’s voice.

And since I can never like anything casually I had to look her up and know who this voice belonged to. I was surprised to learn she died SO young, she was only 32 when she was found dead in a London hotel room. There’s a really gross and fat-phobic rumor surrounding her death, since Cass Elliott was a bigger woman a coroner saw a (uneaten) sandwich in her hotel room and told reporters that she had died from choking on it. The truth eventually came out that no, asshole coroner, she didn’t die from choking on food, she had died from a heart attack. There were other stories surrounding her weight, such as almost being denied from the band the Mamas and Papas because she didn’t fit in with the “image” of the group but you just can’t quiet her amazing voice and luckily for music listeners everywhere she made it into the band.

And yet despite all the fat-phobic rumors and various situations in which people judged her for her weight, from listening to her I don’t feel like she let the world’s opinions on her body keep her down. In her album of her CBS television special she jokes with the audience that it’s so hot on stage that the other night she put yeast on her stomach and when she was done with her set she had made Toulouse cookies. She then goes on to sing “I Like What I Like” in the wake of laughter and thunderous applause like the queen she is.

All songs mentioned can be found here:

 

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