Doris Day never sang rock 'n' roll, but she was known personally by several important '60s recording stars.
The big band singer-turned-movie icon was the mother of noted producer Terry Melcher, who helped turn The Byrds and Paul Revere and the Raiders into two of the greatest American bands of the '60s.
Byrds frontman Roger McGuinn met Doris after she'd left Hollywood. After Doris retired from performing, she moved to Carmel, California and Terry, her only child, built a home nearby -- where he'd installed an early digital studio.
When he was invited to record tracks for a Beach Boys album, Roger was also offered the chance to meet the screen legend.
Roger McGuinn talked about being introduced to Doris Day in the 1980s: "Terry invited me to play on a Beach Boys album. I was up at his house in Carmel. And he went into the other room and there was ProTools setup. And we recorded a Beach Boys album on ProTools, and then he took me over to meet his mother. She was running a hotel there and she had a scotch and I thought that was interesting, 'cause she's kinda clean cut. And Terry said, 'Yeah, I've got her drinking a little scotch now.'"
Roger McGuinn talked Hollywood and politics with Doris:"We talked and I had just met Dorothy Lamour, we talked about Dorothy Lamour a little bit. She was friends with her. There wasn't much else about it, except, you know, friendly conversation -- although she was very pro-Reagan. She said, 'Don't forget to vote for Ronald Reagan [chuckle].'"
Mark Lindsay worked closely with Melcher and fondly recalls sharing Christmas dinner with Terry and his parents.
"One of my most memorable Christmas dinners was in '67, Terry and I had Christmas dinner with her and his stepfather. Doris, she cooked the dinner herself, it wasd great. Just this gracious woman, she could have been any housewife in the valley. I was incredibly impressed. And every time I met her, she was just that was. She was not 'Hollywood' in any sense of the word."
While Jan and Dean were never produced by Melcher, Dean Torrence and Terry Melcher were big names on the '60s L.A. scene and became close friends.
Dean Torrence fondly recalled conversations with Doris Day about their mutual love of animals:"Oh, I met her many times at the house. She was just Terry's mom to me. Some of my conversations to her were usually about her love of animals. She was quite an advocate for animals rights and all of that kind of stuff. She was very curious about I had a pet raccoon. I think she asked me some questions about what it was like to have a pet raccoon and I was more than happy to tell her what I knew about it."