Welcome to the future home of

Please be patient, as

haven't moved in yet.

What you'll find when The Gang gets settled in...
- A complete album and single discography, covering their Mercury and Epic recordings...

- The lyrics to many of your favorite S&OG songs...

- Photos, of course...

- What's doin' with The Gang these days...and

- Other places on the web featuring Spanky & Our Gang.


So, who were Spanky & Our Gang?
Personnel:
ELAINE "SPANKY" McFARLANE, vocals
PAUL "OZ" BACH bass, vocals
NIGEL PICKERING guitar, bass, vocals
MALCOLM HALE guitar, vocals
JOHN SEITER drums, vocals
GEOFFREY MYERS bass, vocals
KENNY HODGES bass, guitar, vocals
LEFTY BAKER guitar, banjo, vocals

Elaine "Spanky" McFarlane and Malcolm Hale first worked together in Chicago's the New Wine Singers, who put out an interesting LP ("The New Wave," Village Gate Records #2003, rel. 1964) comprised of covers of then up-and-coming folk songwriters including Phil Ochs, Tom Paxton, Mike Settle and Shel Silverstein. The original version of Spanky and Our Gang began playing Chicago's folk clubs in 1966 as a trio of McFarlane, Pickering, and Paul "Oz" Bach, but shortly after signing to Mecury Records were joined by Malcolm Hale and John Seiter. Their style was defined by their tight, soaring harmonies, a wonderful sense of humor, and the always incredible lead vocal of Spanky. After an unsuccessful cover of the Beatles' "And Your Bird Can Sing", they made the U.S. Top 10 with the classic "Sunday Will Never Be The Same." Their self-titled debut album (Mercury 61124, released August 1967) featured two other radio friendly hits, "Makin' Every Minute Count" and "Lazy Day," along with their unique treatments of the Depression-era ballad "Brother Can You Spare A Dime" (fueled by Spanky's powerful vocal), "Ya Got Trouble" from Meredith Willson's "The Music Man" - both of which had been staples in the group's early live shows (as evidenced in the 1970 post-breakup release, "Spanky & Our Gang - Live") - plus a musical arrangement of Webster's Dictionary's definitions for the word "love," and what was probably the first and only commercial for pot (it's also the funniest).

Objecting to the lightweight material that they felt was being forced on them by the label, S&OG enlisted the songwriting and producing talents of Stuart Scharf and Bob Dorough for the second album, "Like To Get To Know You" (Mercury 61161, released April 1968). Their styles meshed so well that they wound up producing the remainder of the group's material while at Mercury. Besides the title cut, this album also featured the hit "Sunday Mornin'", a terrific rendition of Hoagy Carmichael and Mitchell Parrish's classic "Stardust," one of the best recordings ever of Leonard Cohen's "Suzanne" and Fred Neil's "Echoes" (which would forever become famous when Harry Nilsson sang it as "Everybody's Talking" for the film "Midnight Cowboy.") After this album Oz Bach left the group and later formed "Wings" (with one album on Dunhill Records), before forming "Tarantula."

Sadly, in 1968 Malcolm Hale died of cirrhosis during the recording of their third album, "Anything You Choose b/w Without Rhyme Or Reason," (Mercury 61183, released Jan. 1969) a blow from which the group never fully recovered. When the single "Give A Damn", a song based on an ad campaign from The New York Urban Coalition, was banned on a number of stations due to the title (although it peaked at #47), it had a negative effect on the three subsequent singles from the album, "And She's Mine," "Yesterday's Rain" and the title track, and they undeservedly languished near the bottom of the Billboard Hot 100, at #'s 97, 86 and 94 respectively. The band broke up at the end of 1969. Nigel Pickering and Kenny Hodges formed the short lived "One Man's Family" in late 1969. The acclaimed "Spanky's Greatest Hit(s)" (Mercury 61227) was released in September of that same year, reprising their most popular singles, album cuts and an extended version of "Sunday Mornin'", complete with behind-the-scenes dialogue and a punchline that could only have come from S&OG. (The memorable cover showed Spanky and her greatest hit, her son Matthew.)

In 1970, tapes of some early Chicago club performances of S&OG in their pre-Mercury days surfaced, to the delight of the group's fans, and "Spanky & Our Gang - Live" (Mercury 61326) has become a collector's item as well as an important snapshot of the group at the beginning.

Lefty Baker passed away in 1971. In 1975, Spanky and Nigel reformed the group with Marc McClure on guitar, Bill Plummer on bass and Jim Moon on drums, and recorded the album "Change" (Epic 33580) which included covers of Larry Norman's "I Wish We'd All Been Ready" Guy Clark's "L.A. Freeway" and the single "I Won't Brand You." After this edition of S&OG disbanded in 1980, Spanky took over for her late friend Mama Cass Elliot in the reformed Mamas and Papas as "Mama Spanky" alongside John and Mackenzie Phillips, Scott MacKenzie and/or Denny Dougherty.

Kenny Hodges and Nigel Pickering now both live in Florida (Jacksonville and St. Augustine, respectively) and Spanky lives in Sacramento, California. Sadly, Oz Bach died in September, 1998. A reunion concert took place in St. Augustine on March 14th, 1999.

This website is respectfully dedicated to the memories of Lefty Baker, Malcolm Hale and Paul "Oz" Bach.