Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.

News

Que Sera Sera

Before you read more...
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your tax-deductible financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.
5b2bca7e4488b3000926abfb-original.jpg

Terry Melcher, the ultimate California kid, died of cancer last Friday night in Beverly Hills. The Los Angeles Times described him as a "surfin'-era singer, songwriter and recording executive who produced the Byrds' No. 1 hits "Mr. Tambourine Man" and "Turn, Turn, Turn" and co-wrote the Beach Boys' "Kokomo."Melcher provided the template for the Angeleno archtype: the Celebrity Scion who thrived behind the scenes of the entertainment world and made a lasting impact on popular culure. Melcher worked on several projects with his mother, actress and singer Doris Day.

"Helping to shape the California surf, rock and folk music scene in the 1960s," the Times noted, "the multifaceted musician sang background, played piano, wrote lyrics, composed music and produced records and shows, including the Monterey Pop Festival."

Melcher also became the subject of an urban legend when he refused to give Charles Manson a recording contract. Melcher and his then-girlfriend, Candice Bergen, had once rented the secluded Benedict Canyon house where Sharon Tate and others were slain in 1969.

Support for LAist comes from

The Times obituary says, "after Manson and his acolytes were arrested, there was a rumor that Manson had intended to kill Melcher for refusing to produce his songs. Investigators, after determining that Manson knew that Melcher had moved to Malibu, discounted the purported motivation."