right|thumb|John Phillips in the 1960s. John Phillips (born John Edmund Andrew Phillips, on August 30, 1935 – March 18, 2001) was an American singer, guitarist, and songwriter. He was a member and leader of the singing group The Mamas & the Papas. He is the father of Mackenzie Phillips, Chynna Phillips, and Bijou Phillips.
== Early life =
Phillips was born in Parris Island, South Carolina. His father was a retired soldier who won an Oklahoma bar from a fellow soldier in a poker game on the way home from Europe after World War I. His mother was Cherokee Indian and met and married Phillips' father in Oklahoma. According to Phillips' autobiography, Papa John, his father was a heavy drinker who suffered from ill health.
Growing up, Phillips was inspired by Marlon Brando and other film stars to be "street tough." He formed a small gang of teenage boys, who could not have been too intimidating because they also sang doo-wop songs. A poor student but likable kid, he was the star of his high school basketball team. He attended college on a partial athletic scholarship, but dropped out and shortly thereafter married his ...