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Goldie & the Gingerbreads

Goldie & the Gingerbreads are one of those acts that seem to turn up in the background of a lot of images, biographies, and reminiscences associated with the top British bands of the mid-'60s. Despite a great name, a unique image and lineup, and an enviable array of endorsements by some of the biggest recording stars of their era, however, they never made a lasting impression on the charts. Polish-born Goldie had previously been with an outfit called the Escorts (variously billed as Goldie & the Escorts and the Escorts With Goldie), who had cut a few singles for the Coral label in 1962, one of which ("Somewhere") charted high in a few locales without ever making a national impact. In 1964, Goldie & the Gingerbreads came together, featuring, in addition to the singer, Ginger Bianco on drums, Carol MacDonald, and organist Margo Crocitto (who later became known as Margo Lewis). They made their debut at New York's Peppermint Lounge, and as an all-female group who was also a self-contained instrumental unit, they were unusual enough to attract attention. Ahmet Ertegun signed them to Atlantic Records, and they released a handful of singles over the next three years. As it turned out, they were also good enough in concert to gain the attention of several visiting British performers, including Alan Price of the Animals -- who was reportedly overwhelmed by Crocitto's keyboard work -- and his manager, Mike Jeffries, who saw the quartet playing at a club called the Wagonwheel. Goldie & the Gingerbreads said yes to Jeffries' offer to manage them and the next thing they knew, they were on their way to England. Once there, they found themselves cast in the role of a novelty act. There had been all-female bands in England before, most notably the Liverbirds, but Goldie & the Gingerbreads were different in that they were American and they were a good deal more than just competent, at least on-stage. Even after the initial novelty was past, they were seen by Keith Richards, who helped get them booked as an opening act on a U.K. tour with the Rolling Stones in early 1965. They also got lots of gigs in and around London, including a headlining show where their opening act was the Muleskinners, an early band of future Small Faces keyboardman Ian McLagan. According to McLagan in his autobiography, All the Rage, the Gingerbreads were a delight to hear and to watch on-stage. As one who could appreciate it very keenly, he observed that their keyboard player, Margo Lewis, handled her Hammond B3 organ "like she was on fire." The group's debut English Decca single, "Can't You Hear My Heartbeat," produced by Alan Price, was a hit in England, and they toured in tandem with both the Kinks and the Jeff Beck-era Yardbirds in the spring of 1965, as well as performing in Europe on the same bill as the Hollies. They never managed to generate a major recording career out of this activity, however. Two more U.K. singles -- "That's Why I Love You" b/w "Skip" and "Sailor Boy" b/w "Please Please" -- followed that year, and Atlantic kept putting records out in the United States, but the esteem in which the group was held by the likes of the Rolling Stones never translated into popular appeal. They lasted together long enough to turn up on one of the posters seen adorning the walls outside the club that David Hemmings appears at in Blow Up, but, sadly, that was probably their most lasting direct impact on popular culture. On an indirect basis, however, Goldie & the Gingerbreads were the model for such acts as the Runaways, the Bangles, and the Pandoras. In October of 1965, Goldie split from the group to go solo, billed simply as Goldie. Her association with the Rolling Stones led her to Andrew Loog Oldham's Immediate Records, where she recorded Carole King's "Goin' Back" soon after; the March 1966 single, however, had to be withdrawn over some changes that the artists had made in the words. The group next jumped to Fontana Records, the U.K. pop arm of Philips Records, for one single, "I Do" b/w "Think About the Good Times," that never charted. Goldie later changed her name to Genya Ravan and turned up at the end of the '60s as a member of the jazz-rock oriented Ten Wheel Drive, and subsequently recorded an album entitled Goldie Zelkowitz for the Janus label in 1974. It was as Genya Ravan that she achieved some measure of stardom more than a decade after her time with the Gingerbreads, producing the first album by the Dead Boys and cutting her own solo albums in the company of Lou Reed, Ian Hunter, and Mick Ronson. The Gingerbreads' organist, Margo Lewis, went on to a career in music in her own right as well and their drummer, Ginger Bianco, founded the all-female horn band Isis. ~ Bruce Eder
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: One Kiss Can Lead To Another: Girl Group Sounds, Lost & Found

Disc 1

1. Needle In A Haystack

2. He's Got The Power

5. Keep Your Hands Off My Baby

8. Boys

9. Big Bad World

10. Out In The Streets

11. Is It True

13. I'll Keep Holding On

14. Oh No Not My Baby

15. May My Heart Be Cast Into Stone

17. I Never Dreamed

18. He's A Bad Boy

20. Dream Boy

21. Try The Worryin' Way

22. I Can't Let Go

23. Go Now

26. Life And Soul Of The Party

29. He Did It

Disc 2

2. The Train From Kansas City

4. Let Me Get Close To You

5. I Have A Boyfriend

6. I'm Into Something Good

8. If There's Anything Else You Want (Let Me Know)

9. When The Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes

10. It Comes And Goes

11. Baby, Baby (I Still Love You)

12. Girl Don't Come

13. That's When The Tears Start

15. Don't Drop Out

16. The One You Can't Have

17. I'm Nobody's Baby Now

18. You're So Fine

20. My One And Only Jimmy Boy

22. Chico's Girl

23. Cause I Love Him

24. Bye Bye Baby

27. Egyptian Shumba

29. Walking In Different Circles

Disc 3

1. The Trouble With Boys

2. Lookin' For Boys

3. Dream Baby

5. Should I Cry (Alternate Take)

6. I'm Blue (The Gong Gong Song)

7. I've Been Wrong Before

8. Love's Gone Bad

9. Nightmare

12. Take Me For A Little While

13. Funnel Of Love

15. Terry

17. Sophisticated Boom Boom

19. Don't Ever Leave Me

26. How Can I Tell My Mom & Dad

29. When I Think Of You

30. Good, Good Lovin'

Disc 4

1. When The Boy's Happy (The Girl's Happy Too)

4. That's How It Goes

9. He Was Really Sayin' Somethin'

10. I Know You Love Me Not

11. Whatever Happened To Our Love

15. I Can't Wait Until I See My Baby's Face

16. Crying In The Rain

19. Hey, Tell Me Boy

20. Brink Of Disaster

21. Who Do You Love

25. Ain't Gonna Kiss Ya

27. Mister Loveman

28. Make The Night A Little Longer

x

Track List: Rare Mod 3

1. Open The Door

2. No Matter How You Slice It

3. Baby I Need Your Loving

4. Think About Love

5. Life Is Just Beginning

6. Chicago Calling

7. Can You Think Of Another

8. Look For Me Baby

9. Desdemona

10. About My Girl

11. In The Midnight Hour

12. Sunflower

13. Dr Nero

14. Get Back To The One

15. Shatterproof

16. Such Is Life

17. Little Egypt

19. Verse One

Comments

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