Terry Melcher wrote this song with the help of John Phillips, who was a former member of The Mamas And The Papas, along with Beach Boy Mike Love, and Scott McKenzie, who had a hit in 1967 with "San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Some Flowers In Your Hair)
." Phillips' daughter Chynna was in the group Wilson Phillips with Brian Wilson's daughters, Carnie and Wendy.
Regarding the composition of the song, Mike Love told us: "The verses and the verse lyric was written by John Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas. He wrote 'Off the Florida keys, there's a place called Kokomo, that's where we used to go to get away from it all.' I said, 'Hold on. We used to go
sounds like an old guy lamenting his misspent youth.' So I just changed the tense there. 'That's where you want to go
to get away from it all.' So that was the verse. And it was very lovely. But it didn't have such a groove, I didn't feel.
So I came up with the chorus part: 'Aruba, Jamaica, ooo, I want to take you to Bermuda, Bahama, come on, pretty mama. Key Largo, Montego...' That's me, the chorus and the words to the chorus was Mike Love. The verse was John Phillips. The bridge, where it goes, 'Ooo, I want to take you down to Kokomo, we'll get there fast and we can take it slow. That's where you want to go, down to Kokomo,' that's Terry Melcher. Terry Melcher produced the Byrds and Paul Revere & the Raiders, very successful producer. But he actually produced that song and he wrote that bridge part, which Carl Wilson sang beautifully. And I sang the rest of it. I sang the chorus and the verses on that particular song.
I don't know what Scott MacKenzie's involvement was, I honestly don't, because all I know is John Phillips, Terry Melcher, and myself put that song together, all those different elements."