Posts Tagged ‘single mother’

Music Moment: “I’d like to sing this song especially for my little daughter.” Mama Cass — “Lady Love”

November 5, 2009

I truly love Cass Elliot and I have boatloads to say about her, another day. Right now I need to dash this off, hustle her through her morning routine and take my sweet little kidlet to kindergarten, and come home and tend to some chores around the house, so I’m scheduling this entry to appear much later today in case I decide on reflection that it needs editing.

Mama Cass Elliot – Lady Love

This song was written by Delaney Bramlett and was the B-side of the extremely successful 7″ single Make Your Own Kind of Music, featuring the eponymous A-side track “Make Your Own Kind of Music,” one of Mama Cass’s earliest solo efforts. (At this point she has hella outsold the Mamas and the Papas, besides being the whole reason they were popular to begin with. In your face, John, you monster … I’ll save that sauce for another day.)

The daughter she refers to at the beginning is Owen Vanessa Elliot, born in 1967, to whom Cass was a single mother until her early death.

Owen was only seven years old when her mother passed away, and Cass did not have the opportunity during her lifetime to reveal to her the identity of her father, which she’d also kept secret from most of her family and friends. I think it’s safe to assume she was waiting until her daughter was curious and emotionally mature enough to ask and receive the answer, and be okay and stable enough to handle whatever came next (like, you can’t lay such heavy stuff on a little kid from day one, don’t people see that??) but she unfortunately died before that time came. I don’t understand why everyone, even sympathetic biographers, gets up in her grill about that. Leave a bitch alone, people. Babymama drama is seriously some really heavy shit. I personally have weighed my options and always played it Cass’s way, and I don’t really care about anyone else’s opinion of the matter. It’s now between me and the kidlet and God, thank you very much, and thank you to my friends who know about it and understand.

Custody of Owen went to Cass’s sister Leah and Leah’s husband, drummer Russ Kunkel, after Cass’s death of a heart attack at 32 –which had nothing to do with choking nor a ham sandwich, and was a total tragedy for the entertainment world– and it ended up being, unexpectedly, Cass’s old bandmate Michelle Phillips who helped Owen track down her biological father in the mid-1980’s.

At some point in the mid-80s, when Owen Elliot was in her late teens, she called Michelle and said, “You have to help me find my father!” Michelle spent a year running down leads through musician friends.


Cass and Mitchie share a giggle on a plane during some of the tough years


Once she had pried loose the name Cass had kept so close to her vest, she placed an ad in a musicians’ publication, urging the man to call an “accountant” (hers), implying a royalty windfall. Like clockwork, Cass’s long-ago secret lover took the bait. When Michelle phoned him, she recalls, “he wasn’t all that shocked,” and, the next day, Owen says, “Michelle gave me a plane ticket and said, ‘Go meet him.’ ” (Owen and Michelle will not reveal the name. Owen says only, “I had envisioned this Norwegian prince.”)

The meeting “answered a lot of questions,” says Owen, who is now married to record producer Jack Kugell and has two children. Since then, she says, “there have been times when I’ve been devastatingly upset about things in my personal life, and I’ve really leaned on Michelle.

“She’s ironically been a mother to me in a way that would make my mom definitely chuckle.” — December 2007, Vanity Fair, “California Dreamgirl,” by Sheila Weller.

Anyways, I can’t believe that I have to type these lyrics up myself, that is a total trip to me, they are NOWHERE online. Maybe I’m just crappy at looking cause it’s so early in the morning. I’m happy to do it really quickly though. I’ll come back and fix typos later.

(spoken) I’d like to sing this song especially for my little daughter.

I don’t require a lot to make it
times are hard but I can take it
as long as I got my little someone to hold on to

I’ve been down but I don’t mind it
what I’ve lost I’m sure I’ll find it
as long as I’ve got my little someone to hold on to

A little sugar to sweeten my tea
A little girl just for me
Hard times I can rise above
With a little help from Lady Love

I’ve heard it said if you’re strong
you can make it all alone
but I’ve got to have my little someone to hold on to

A little sugar to sweeten my tea
A little girl to set me free
Hard times I will rise above
With a little help from Lady Love, Lady Love


She came along just in time
Time to ease my worried mind
and now I’ve got my little someone to hold on to

Well, time to go make sure my lady love has been getting dressed and brushing her teeth and hair all this time. Then we will sit and have breakfast and she’ll fill me in on the dramz with this boy she likes and her best friend (who has already stolen one guy: typical). Catch you on the flip side!