June 19th marks the 77th birthday of Elaine “Spanky” McFarlane, lead singer of Spanky and Our Gang. From Peoria, IL, she fored the group in 1966. They hit it big with hits such as “Sunday Will Never Be The Same” and “Lazy Day” in 1967. They were a 6 piece band, featuring some beautiful harmonies.
In April of 1968, they released the song we feature on Wayback Wednesday, “Like to Get To Know You,” which reached #17 nationally in June. It’s an interesting video of an uncredited TV performance, intercutting 2 different scenes. After the death of lead guitarist Malcolm Hale on October 31, 1968 (either from, according to different reports, bronchial pneumonia, or carbon monoxide poisoning), the group disbanded in 1969.
McFarlane had some success as a solo artist. In the 80s she toured with the New Mamas and Papas, doing the Cass Elliot parts.(There is an amazing similarity to their voices!) She’s since re-formed Spanky and Our Gang, but is now the only original surviving member. Happy Birthday Spanky McFarlane…and enjoy this cool tune from the Spring and Summer of ’68!