Spanky & Our Gang was a male-female folk rock/sunshine pop band from Chicago that became famous during the late 1960s. With a name inspired by "The Little Rascals" series, the group began in 1966 as a trio consisting of Paul "Oz" Bach (June 24, 1939 - September 21, 1998), Nigel Pickering (June 15, 1929 - May 5, 2011), and lead singer Elaine "Spanky" McFarlane. By 1967, the group was signed to Mercury and the lineup had expanded to also include multi-instrumentalist Malcolm Hale (May 17, 1941 - October 30, 1968), John "The Chief" Seiter (drums), Kenny Hodges (bass), and guitarist Eustace Britchforth "Lefty" Baker (January 7, 1939 - August 11, 1971), who all shared vocals. After Malcolm Hale's untimely passing in late 1968 at the height of the group's fame, Spanky & Our Gang began to dissolve and they split the following year. The group was well known for its close-knit harmonies with a sound that is often compared to that of The Mamas & The Papas. Despite their relatively short tenure, Spanky & Our Gang became an indelible part of the musical landscape of the late 1960s with their many era-defining hits.
Spanky & Our Gang debuted on the Pop/Rock charts in 1967 with "Sunday Will Never Be The Same," which became a Top 10 hit and soon after went gold. This smash was followed later that year by "Making Every Minute Count," which became a Top 40 hit, and the chirpy "Lazy Day," which made the Top 20 and became the group's second million seller. The group had two other Top 40 hits in 1968 with "Sunday Mornin'" and the soulful "Like To Get To Know You." Other hits included "Give A Damn" (1968), "Yesterday's Rain" (1968), "Anything You Choose" (1969), and "And She's Mine" (1969). Spanky & Our Gang's final chart entry came in 1969 with their cover of Harry Nilsson's "Everybody's Talkin' At Me" (1969).
After Spanky & Our Gang disbanded, McFarlane went on to pursue a career as a solo artist. From 1982-1993, she was a member of The New Mamas & The Papas, serving as a replacement for the late Cass Elliot.
- For more info about Spanky & Our Gang and a tribute to late bandmember and co-founder, Oz Bach, visit spankyandourgang.com.
- The St. Augustine Record remembers Nigel Pickering.
- Spanky McFarlane discusses the brief reformation of Spanky & Our Gang as a country group during the mid 1970s and other musical projects in an in-depth interview originally published in FFanzeen magazine ca. 1985.
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Spanky And Our Gang
- Lazy Day 1967
- Like To Get To Know You 1968
- Making Every Minute Count 1967
- Sunday Will Never Be The Same 1967
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