LOS ANGELES— Celebrate the upcoming 40th anniversary of Woodstock with one of the era’s most beloved songstresses, Mama Cass Elliot, when her long-lost special, The Mama Cass Television Program, grooves onto DVD Aug. 25 from Infinity Entertainment Group.
Taped as a pilot for a TV variety series and aired as a colorful 1969 ABC special, The Mama Cass Television Program uniquely captured not only the free spirit of the iconic Woodstock festival of music and love, but the magic of the times and a decade of change. A joyous celebration of both music and “flower power,” the show never aired again, likely a victim of suit-and-tie network executives who tuned in (found it a bit too groovy) and tuned out.
Joni Mitchell, John Sebastian and Mary Travers all join Cass for a sing-along that’s a flashback of ’60s music utopia. John presents She’s a Lady and teams with Cass on Darlin’ Companion. Joni performs Both Sides Now and Mary offers And When I Die. All three women join together for a stirring version of Bob Dylan’s I Shall be Released.
The program also features rare solo vocal performances by Cass – who had announced a solo career the previous year – of The Mamas and the Papas’ mega-hits California Dreamin’ and Monday, Monday, as well as renditions of Dream a Little Dream of Me, River of Life, I Can Dream Can’t I? and the Motown hit Dancing in the Street.
Other guest stars include Buddy Hackett, Martin Landau and Barbara Bain in a pair of humorous sketches with Elliot.
The Mama Cass Television Program is presented in full frame with an aspect ratio of 4 x 3. Bonus footage includes a duet by Cass and Sammy Davis, Jr. of I Dig Rock and Roll Music; and a new interview with John Sebastian who remembers his friend Elliot (who passed away in 1974) and The Mamas and the Papas (which split for the final time in 1971).
Collector’s Choice Music is also releasing on one CD Cass’ final studio recordings, Cass Elliot and The Road is no Place for a Lady, two albums which include three previously unreleased tracks.