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Spanky And Our Gang

Sort of a poor man’s Mamas & The Papas, Elaine ‘Spanky’ McFarlane and her bandmates hit the heights of the US charts in the late 60s with pop/folk/rock radio-ready tunes like Sunday Will Never Be The SameLike To Get To Know You and Lazy Day.

Being true folkies at heart, the group had a major protest song, Give a Damn, that was banned on many American radio stations – primarily because “damn” was deemed to constitute profanity, and in some cases due to the fact that the song was a comment on racial equality.

The group’s self-titled debut album was released by Mercury Records in August 1967 and contained three singles: Sunday Will Never Be The Same (which reached #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart), Making Every Minute Count and Lazy Day – both of which made the Top 30.

Their second album, Like to Get To Know You, was released in April 1968 and spawned two singles: Sunday Mornin’  (US#30) and Like To Get To Know You (US #17).

The group suffered a tragedy in October 1968 when – at the age of 27 – lead guitarist Malcolm Hale died of carbon monoxide poisoning due to a faulty space heater. The group disbanded shortly afterwards.

Mercury released a third album, Without Rhythm or Reason, in January 1969. It contained two popular songs, the previous summer’s hit Give a Damn and Yesterday’s Rain.

McFarlane became a very in-demand backing singer, working with many stars including Roger McGuinn. She eventually became a member of the touring-only Mamas & The Papas, where she filled the musical void left by Mama Cass Elliott.

Elaine ‘Spanky’ McFarlane
Lefty Baker
Guitar, banjo, vocals
Nigel Pickering
Guitar, bass, vocals
John ‘The Chief’ Seiter
Drums, vocals
Malcolm Hale
Guitar, trombone, vocals
Paul Bach
Bass, vocals
Kenny Hodges
Bass, vocals