Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Singer Cass Elliot 1974 Mt. Sinai Cemetery
Cass Elliot (born Ellen Naomi Cohen; September 19, 1941 – July 29, 1974), also known as Mama Cass, was an American singer and member of The Mamas and the Papas. After the group broke up, she released five solo albums. In 1998, Elliot, John Phillips, Denny Doherty, and Michelle Phillips were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for their work as The Mamas and the Papas.
At the height of her solo career in 1974, Elliot performed two weeks of sold-out concerts at the London Palladium. She telephoned Michelle Phillips after the final concert on July 28, elated that she had received standing ovations each night. She then retired for the evening, and died in her sleep at age 32. Sources state her death was due to a heart attack. Elliot died in Flat 12, 9 Curzon Place, Shepherd Market, Mayfair, London which was on loan from singer/songwriter Harry Nilsson. Four years later, The Who's drummer Keith Moon died in the same flat at the same age. Elliot was buried in Mount Sinai Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles.
An oft-repeated urban legend claims that Elliot choked to death on a ham sandwich. The story, which spread soon after the discovery of her body, was based on speculation in the initial media coverage. Although an autopsy had not yet been performed, police told reporters that a partially eaten sandwich found in her room might have been to blame. Despite the post-mortem examination finding that Elliot had died of a heart attack and no food was found in her windpipe, the false story that she choked on a sandwich has persisted in the decades following her death.