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The Peppermint Rainbow

Baltimore's Peppermint Rainbow had a Top 40 hit in 1969 with their harmony-laden soft rocker "Will You Be Staying After Sunday" -- a nod (both thematically and musically) to the Spanky & Our Gang hits "Sunday Morning" and "Sunday Will Never Be the Same." Like Spanky & Our Gang, the Peppermint Rainbow excelled at soaring vocal harmony work, with Bonnie Lamdin (later Phipps) helming most of the leads and the rest of the group providing the backing. A real working road band, the Peppermint Rainbow slugged it out in the clubs of Baltimore and Georgetown (under the name the New York Times) in 1967-1968, and got their first break when they caught the attention of Cass Elliot (Mama Cass, duly impressed and probably flattered, joined the group on-stage during a Mamas & the Papas medley and quickly hooked the group up with her contacts at Decca Records). "Green Tambourine" and "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" writer/producer Paul Leka took the band under his wing and released its first single, "Walking in Different Circles" b/w "Pink Lemonade," under the group's new moniker the Peppermint Rainbow. The record failed to chart but their next single, the Al Kasha-penned "Will You Be Staying After Sunday," was a hit. Overnight, the bandmembers went from sharing bologna sandwiches to playing alongside acts like the 5th Dimension and Sly & the Family Stone, as well as appearing on numerous television shows. Subsequent singles charted admirably, but their only LP release (titled Will You Be Staying After Sunday) never cracked the Billboard Top 100. By 1970, the group had dissolved -- a combination of disenchantment with the industry and personal commitments -- leaving three fine singles and one great long-player as testimony to "flash in the pan" fame.
© J. Scott McClintock /TiVo


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