Spanky McFarland and her cohorts–collectively known as Spanky & Our Gang in a nod to the 1930s Our Gang comedies–were a pop group of the highest order. They enjoyed a series of well-received, incredibly well done singles and decently performing albums, many of which can still be heard on oldies radio. (Somehow that’s become a benchmark for the longevity of ’60s pop success. But I digress.)
Think: A slightly more polished, East Coast take on the Mamas & the Papas, sans hippie doggerel. Intricate vocal arrangements in songs like “Sunday Will Never Be the Same” and “Like to Get to Know You” are rich with tone and depth, some of the best unapologetically sweeping pop of the past 40+ years.
“(It Ain’t Necessarily) Byrd Avenue” is available in mono as part of a Mercury Records boxed set (which is thoroughly awesome). It’s a lovably undirected tune, a sort of travelogue, dated but not too twee or overly yellowed. As a signpost of where Spanky & Our Gang went, this is heads and shoulders above the rest.