Scott McKenzie, 73, whose 1967 hit single "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)" captured the spirit of the '60s flower-power movement, has died.
McKenzie died Saturday at his home in Los Angeles. A statement on his website said he had been ill with Guillain-Barre syndrome, a disease affecting the nervous system.
"If you're going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair," McKenzie gently sang in his biggest hit, written by his longtime friend, John Phillips of the Mamas & the Papas.
Phillips was inspired to write the song by the large influx of young people to San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district, said Lou Adler, whose Ode Records released "San Francisco."
"That's where the line 'gentle people' comes from," said Adler, who co-produced "San Francisco" with Phillips. "Scott sang like an angel. He had one of the most beautiful voices that ever had a rock 'n' roll hit."
"San Francisco," which was released in May 1967, rose to No. 4 on the Billboard chart and became a No. 1 hit in the United Kingdom and most of Europe.
The song was released a month before the Monterey International Pop Festival, which Phillips and Adler produced. McKenzie sang it during the Mamas & the Papas' set, and the song was used over the opening visuals of the ensuing "Monterey Pop" documentary.
Matthew Ianniello, 92, the reputed Genovese crime boss known as "Matty the Horse," who was convicted of rigging construction bids, skimming union dues and wringing protection money from bar owners, pornography peddlers and topless dancers during a half-century career, died Aug. 15 at his home in Old Westbury, on Long Island. A death notice placed by his family in Newsday said he died "peacefully at home with his family."
Ianniello -- whose mob name derived from his powerful physique and his early career as an enforcer -- served only two significant prison terms during his life: a nine-year term for racketeering and tax evasion involving midtown topless bars that he owned, which he served from 1986 to 1995; and an 18-month sentence for his role in illegally controlling garbage-hauling companies in Connecticut, which he completed in 2009, at 89.
Yet federal prosecutors considered him the mastermind of one of organized crime's most lucrative profit centers in New York -- the topless bar scene and pornography shops of Manhattan.
Some establishments were owned outright by Ianniello's organization. In most cases, though, the profit came in the form of payments for "protection." Similar protection incentives made Ianniello, in effect, one of the biggest operators of Manhattan's discos and gay bars during the '70s.