Hal Roach made a series of short films with the Little Rascals that were also referred to as Spanky and Our Gang. In 1966 Spanky McFarlane and four of her friends started using the name for their musical group. Their first single just faded away but their second single was Sunday Will Never Be The Same. The top ten record sold a million copies in 1967 and made them an overnight success.
Two additional singles were released from the album. The first was Making Every Minute Count. The record only got up to #31 and faded quickly. Barely two months later Lazy Day was released, and that was their second million-selling record.
The group of five or six performers typically dressed in fashions that were unusual even in the late sixties. Perhaps because of their unusual appearance, they were booked on a large number of television shows. One of their earliest appearances was on a local New York City special hosted by Murray the K. While the show’s video is missing in action, a video of them practicing Making Every Minute Count has survived. While the backup music may be canned, their vocals are very much live and demonstrate their grasp of harmony.
If that’s not enough for you, you can always simply listen to the song in stereo.
Singles from the group’s second album did not fare as well. Malcom Hale, the group’s lead guitarist, died barely 15 months after the group’s first big hit, and the group disintegrated shortly after.
Their record company released a third album, and countless compilation albums, but even the group’s attempt to reunite in the mid-seventies failed to attract much attention.
From 1982 to 1993 Spanky was a member of the New Mamas and Papas with a wildly rotating number of other singers performing live (and recorded on at least one live album).