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Listening Room #16 – 45 Edition – Sugar & The Spices

Sugar & The Spices – Do The Dog / Bye Bye Baby (1963) on Stacy Records

Lately, I have really been into finding girl groups from the late 50s and 60s, both who played their own instruments and ones who were only singing groups. There were quite a few garage guitar-slinging ladies, complete with mod-dresses and beehives. It is so fun to see the black and white photos of them, their big Gretsch style guitars and mile-wide smiles. Women have always been playing the guitar, yes, even the electric guitar, and these pioneer all-female groups I think had an impact. Perhaps not a huge impact considering they were often seen as gimmicks, show-groups, or just plain marketing ploys (think Monkies). But, these women had skills and talent, and though they might not have been respected in their day, I feel other women like myself truly admire what they did, and the legacy that they left.

One of these all female groups was “Sugar & The Spices.” They only released four 45 rpm records that I know of. If you can find these in some dusty attic somewhere, they are truly gems. I listened today to their “Do The Dog / Bye Bye Baby” record, and it has all the makings of garage rock ‘n’ roll, mixed with the high treble vocals of the time and a groovy rock organ. Shagadelic baby!

What I think is so telling about the time period is stamped right on the vinyl record. Right under the title of the track, it reads: “Special Note: All girl group -No recording gimmicks.” Apparently, they had to stamp that on there to prove that these were women singing, and not just a pitch adjusted male group. Ha!

What is sad is that I cannot find any pictures of them anywhere, nor any more information. How many girls were in the group? Did they play their own instruments? Are they still alive today? What did they look like? I am assuming they played their own instruments, since they are featured on a girl group compilation that says so. The complication is called Girls with Guitars, and features many rockin guitar slingers.

So, if anyone out there has more information, please let me know! If you are a former Sugar & Spice member, please let me know as well!

I also created a facebook fan group for them, so if you like them please join!

However, youtube wins with having audio of both songs:

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