The American Breed - Songs


The American Breed was a late 1960s rock band from Cicero, Illinois that became famous during the late 1960s. They are best known for the 1967 smash, "Bend Me, Shape Me," a beloved oldies classic that kicks off with a short catchy drum solo followed by a soulful brassy fanfare.

Formed in 1958 and first known as Gary & The Nite Lites, the original lineup consisted of Al Ciner (guitar, vocals), Charles "Chuck" Colbert, Jr. (bass, vocals), Jim Michalak (drums), and lead singer/guitarist Gary Loizzo (August 16, 1945 - January 16, 2016). Michalak was later replaced by Lee Graziano (drums, vocals, trumpet). By early 1967, the band had signed with Acta Records and renamed itself The American Breed.

The American Breed had their first charting song in 1967 with the Carole King/Gerry Goffin-penned "I Don't Think You Know Me," which was followed later that year by the band's first Top 40 hit, "Step Out Of Your Mind" (1967). The American Breed's fame began to take off in late 1967 with the Scott English/Larry Weiss-penned "Bend Me, Shape Me" (1967), which became a Top 5 hit and soon after went gold. The band's other hits, which continued through 1968, also include "Green Light" (1968), "Ready, Willing And Able" (1968), and "Anyway That You Want Me" (1968). The band had its final charting song in 1969 with "Room At The Top."

After The American Breed split in 1970, Al Ciner and other band members went on to form Rufus. Gary Loizzo founded Pumpkin Recording Studios and became a highly successful producer and recording engineer. A two-time Grammy nominee, he worked with such top acts as Liza Minnelli, Bad Company, Slash, Survivor, REO Speedwagon, and Styx. Ciner, Loizzo, Colbert, and Graziano reunited in 1986 as The American Breed and recorded the album, "Once Again," featuring a new version of "Bend Me, Shape Me." Since then, the band has had a number of reunions mainly in the Chicago area.



Disclosure: The following links will take you to various online merchants outside of that sell recordings and other merchandise for the performing artist featured on this page. Please note that these are referral or affiliate links from which may receive, at no additional cost to you, a commission if you should make any purchases through them.


To listen to a song clip, click any song title that has a speaker icon. This will take you to a list of links to CD and/or MP3 product pages from one or more online merchants that have sound samples.

The American Breed

Jump to:
Previous Artist | Next Artist