Malcolm Hale Dies
Spanky and Our Gang was an American 1960s folk-rock band led by Elaine "Spanky" McFarlane.
The band derives its name from Hal Roach's popular Our Gang comedies of the 1930s (known to modern audiences as The Little Rascals). McFarlane was nicknamed "Spanky" because one of the band members, perhaps influenced by her last name, said that she resembled Our Gang star George "Spanky" McFarland. The group was known for its vocal harmonies.
In October 1968, the group suffered a tragedy when at age 27 their lead guitarist Malcolm Hale died of carbon monoxide poisoning due to a faulty space heater (Hale's death has also been ascribed to bronchopneumonia). The group disbanded shortly afterwards. Mercury released a third album, Anything You Choose b/w Without Rhythm or Reason, in January 1969. It contained two popular songs, the previous summer's hit "Give a Damn" and "Yesterday's Rain".