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"San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)" was produced and released in May 1967 by John Phillips (of the Mamas and the Papas) and Lou Adler, who used it to promote their Monterey International Pop Music Festival held in June of 1967. The song became one of the best-selling singles of the 1960s in the world, reaching the fourth position on the US charts and the number one spot on the UK charts. In Ireland, it was number one for one week, in New Zealand the song spent five weeks at number one, and in Germany it was six weeks at number one.
Scott McKenzie's version has been called "the unofficial anthem of the counterculture movement of the 1960s, including the Hippie, Anti-Vietnam War and Flower power movements." According to Paul Ingles of NPR, "...local authorities in Monterey were starting to get cold feet over the prospect of their town being overrun by hippies. To smooth things over, Phillips wrote a song, "San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair)." Scott McKenzie was in a group called The Journeymen with John Phillips. His only other hit was the follow up to this "Like An Old Time Movie," and by the end of the '60s he'd gone to live in the desert. In the late '80s he co-wrote the Beach Boys #1 single "Kokomo."